CDC investigating 193 cases of lung injury tied to vaping

  • CDC

  • Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • The CDC is investigating 193 potential cases of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarette products (vaping), reported between June 28 and August 20.
  • The CDC is working with 22 states to investigate the cause and to determine whether any specific products are implicated. The investigation began in Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • The FDA has joined the investigation, encouraging physicians and the public to submit details of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health problems or product concerns to the FDA safety portal for tobacco products.

Why this matters

  • If vaping turns out to be the cause, the FDA may take action to remove products from the market or control who can buy e-cigarettes.

CDC's Statement

  • Infectious disease has been ruled out as the principal cause.
  • One death has been reported.
  • The CDC refers to the condition as "a cluster of pulmonary illnesses possibly related to vaping."
  • In many cases, the pulmonary disease begins gradually, with breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain, before worsening that requires hospitalization. 
  • Some patients report mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness with vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. 
  • Many patients report recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol-containing products, but no individual product has been implicated across all cases.
  • Although the cause is unknown, all reported cases involve vaping.