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CDC: Vaping-Related Lung Injury Cases Pass 1000


October 07, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that as of October 1, 2019, the number of lung injury cases associated with vaping products has increased to 1080, with the death count increasing from 12 to 18.

Further, according to the CDC, “the latest findings from the investigation into lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, suggest products containing THC play a role in the outbreak.” Previous investigation had found a history of use of products containing THC in a majority of reported cases, but at this time, no consistent product, substance, or additive has been identified across all cases. 

“Users may not know what is in their e-cigarette or e-liquid solutions. Many of the products and substances can be modified by suppliers or users,” the CDC wrote.

“More information is needed to know whether one or more e-cigarette or vaping products, substances, or brands is responsible for the outbreak.”

While the investigation is ongoing, the CDC is recommending that individuals consider refraining from the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products, especially those that contain THC. Those who use vaping products in order to assist with cigarette smoking cessation should not return to cigarette smoking.

Regardless of the current investigation, the CDC also recommends that no vaping product users should purchase their products from informal sources or modify or add substances to these products. Youth and young adults should not use vaping products, nor should women who are pregnant.

The CDC is calling on health care providers to report cases of lung injury of unclear etiology with history of vaping product use within 90 days and have provided a case definition to states to help classify confirmed and probable cases.

Requirements for a “confirmed” case include:

  • Use of vaping products in 90 days prior to symptom onset.
  • Pulmonary infiltrate on plain film chest radiograph or ground-glass opacities on chest CT.
  • Absence of pulmonary infection on initial workup (with minimum criteria being negative respiratory viral panel, negative influenza PCR or rapid test, and negative results from all other clinically indicated respiratory infectious disease testing).
  • No evidence in medical record of alternative plausible diagnoses.

—Michael Potts

References:

  1. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping. Smoking & Tobacco Use. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html. Updated October 3, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  2. For state and local health departments. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease/health-departments/index.html#case-definitions. Updated October 3, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
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