Last updated: 1/23/20
A sudden and severe lung illness from vaping has affected over a thousand people in the US1, becoming a public health crisis. Nearly all patients have been hospitalized, receiving treatments including medically induced coma2 3 4 breathing machines5, and advanced life support interventions.6 7 8
Lung injury patients have experienced a range of symptoms prior to being diagnosed. Doctors have treated patients with varying severity of symptoms from trouble breathing9 to lung damage that resembles chemical burns.10 Current investigations have not revealed the exact cause of the outbreak, whether it’s from the vape liquid or toxic chemicals released from the device itself.11 But here’s what is known:
People with lung damage from vaping typically have symptoms that start a few days to a few weeks before they go see a doctor.21 All people hospitalized developed some type of breathing problems, but many people also have other symptoms. The symptoms reported by those affected are:
If you vape and are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see a doctor. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a long-time user in order to develop the lung illness. New users have been affected as well. 22 23
Refraining from vaping is strongly recommended until the investigation is complete. For those who choose to vape THC, products should only be purchased from a licensed cannabis retailer. Never buy any type of e-cigarette or vaping product off the street, particularly those that contain THC. Consumers should never modify a store-bought vape product.
Officials are concerned about whether the vaping illness increases the risk of influenza or other respiratory viral infections during or following treatment. CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, including people who use e-cigarette, or vaping products. 24
Get more outbreak information from the CDC.