CDC Update: Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Use or Vaping

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state health departments, and public health and clinical partners to investigate the multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, product.

Please share the following update with your members and colleagues, as appropriate.

What You Need to Know

  • As of October 22, 2019, 1,604 lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from the District of Columbia, one U.S. territory (USVI) and 49 states (all except Alaska).
  • 34 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.
  • All patients with these lung injuries have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
    • THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.
  • The latest national and state findings suggest e-cigarette, or vaping, products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, illicit dealers) are linked to most of the cases and play a key role in this outbreak.
    • No single compound or ingredient used in e-cigarette, or vaping, products has emerged as the cause of this outbreak.
  • CDC recommends that people should not:
    • Use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
    • Buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC, off the street.
    • Modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
  • Since the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • CDC continues to refine recommendations based on emerging data. Update information and recommendations can be found at: www.cdc.gov/lunginjury

New Laboratory Testing at CDC

  • CDC and FDA are expanding the range of available laboratory testing.
    • CDC is currently testing bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples, as well as blood or urine samples paired to BAL fluid samples.
    • CDC is testing pathologic specimens, including lung biopsy or autopsy specimens, associated with patients.
    • CDC is offering aerosol emission testing of case-associated product samples from e-cigarette, or vaping, products and e-liquids. Analysis of aerosol emissions will augment FDA’s ongoing work to characterize e-liquid and will improve our understanding of exposure among patients associated with the Lung Injury outbreak. CDC is coordinating e-cigarette, or vaping, product analysis with FDA.
    • Results may provide insight into the nature of the chemical exposure(s) contributing to this outbreak.

What’s New on the Lung Injury Response Website This Week:

The most up-to-date, publicly available information can be found at: www.cdc.gov/lunginjury

If the public has questions, they can contact CDC-INFO at 800-232-4636, or visit https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form.

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