UPDATED: Lung Illnesses Tied to Vaping in Colorado

October 2nd, 2019

Update 10/2/19: There are currently nine confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in Colorado. Seven people are currently hospitalized.

Vaping-related illness cases nationwide. Map courtesy of the CDC.

Colorado health officials have reported several cases of sudden and severe lung illness potentially linked to vaping.

These local cases have unfolded alongside other cases of illness, hospitalizations and even fatalities tied to vaping around the country.

Several hundred cases of severe lung disease in 33 states have been linked to e-cigarette use, and six deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon as of the posting of this article. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe these deaths are tied to chemical exposure from e-cigarette use, and thus the organization is recommending that Americans consider not using e-cigarettes until further research can be conducted.

The disease has not been tied to any particular substance, chemical or product. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fatigue and fever. If you or someone you know is experiencing similar symptoms, reach out to a doctor or your local health department.

 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will regularly update the number of cases in Colorado on its vaping and lung illness website, which also includes details about what is known about the situation and what Colorado public health is doing.

 

Colorado has an unusually high rate of teen nicotine vaping. Colorado clinicians, school-based health centers, campus health centers, parents, and people who vape should be aware that this outbreak is occurring and be on the lookout for symptoms.

CDPHE issued a press release on August 29 alerting the public about the two confirmed cases of severe lung illness that had been linked to vaping in Colorado.

Here is how you can take action today:

Adults Who Vape

  • If you are concerned that these cases of sudden and severe lung disease have been linked to vaping, consider stopping your e-cigarette use until more is known about the causes of the illnesses and safety of the products.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms –  including shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fatigue and fever – reach out to your doctor right away.
  • Read the latest information the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the link between vaping and lung complications.

Parents and Adults Who Work With Youth

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