State: Update on lung illnesses related to vaping

DOVER — The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) said it will continue to participate in a multi-state investigation into an alleged outbreak of severe pulmonary disease reported across the country.

As of Wednesday, 38 states, including Delaware, have reported cases of lung injury allegedly associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies cases as probable or confirmed based on case definition. Since DPH released its initial Sept. 9, press release announcing three possible cases of vaping-related lung illnesses under investigation in Delaware, two of the three cases were identified as meeting the CDC case definition of “probable.”

Four additional cases have since been classified as probable, resulting in a total of six probable cases as of Wednesday, claimed DPH. Currently, Delaware does not have any cases classified as confirmed. There are an additional five cases under investigation.

Of the six probable cases, the DPH says the individuals range from ages 15 to 45. Five are New Castle County residents, and one is from Kent County.
Four of the six individuals are men and two are women. Some individuals reported use of e-cigarette products containing THC, as well as e-cigarette products containing nicotine and some reported using e-cigarette products containing only THC.

As of Sept. 19, there were 530 probable or confirmed cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products reported throughout the United States, according to the CDC. Seven deaths related to this outbreak have been reported in six states.
The CDC launched its investigation into the lung illnesses on Aug. 1, and has worked closely since then with the Food and Drug Administration, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause.

No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients.
The investigation has not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases.
Caution is advised concerning e-cigarette products. Individuals who may be concerned about their health after using an e-cigarette product should contact their health care provider, or the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications.
If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, call the Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858. Youth who smoke or vape can contact the American Lung Association’s NOT on Tobacco Cessation Program (NOT) for teens (1-800-LUNGUSA). The Truth Initiative also operates a text cessation program. To participate text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09.

For more updates on CDC’s multi-state investigation, go to https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.

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