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Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use or Vaping

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) began investigating vaping-related severe lung injuries in early August 2019.  The number of vaping-related lung injuries continues to rise steadily in Indiana and nationwide. Vaping is the only common factor in these injuries to date. Most individuals have reported vaping THC, the ingredient in marijuana, or other substances, but it’s unknown what specific products, brand or substance is causing these injuries. More information is being learned as new cases are investigated and data analyzed.

This is a rapidly changing situation, and ISDH continues to gather data on cases and collaborate with local partners and healthcare providers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to learn more about these lung injuries and determine potential causes. The CDC recommends that until more is known, people consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products if they are concerned about these specific health risks.

Symptoms can include:

  • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, fever or abdominal pain

Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see their healthcare provider right away.

In Indiana, the use of e-cigarettes and vaping among youth has risen more than 350 percent among high school and middle school students since 2012.  Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box have announced a plan to address youth vaping in Indiana. This approach includes education and training for parents, teachers and students; a youth-focused text messaging program; and a statewide media campaign. Visit Vape-Free Indiana for more information.

Click here for a fact sheet on e-cigarettes.

The CDC has developed a webpage that has resources for the public, healthcare providers and health departments.

Resources:

For Providers:

ISDH and the Indiana Poison Control Center have partnered to improve case reporting efficiency. To report suspected cases, please call ISDH at 317-233-7125 or the Indiana Poison Center at (800) 222-1222.

To submit vape product, or for additional questions, please call ISDH at (317) 233-7125, or the ISDH epidemiologist on call after hours at (317) 233-1325.

Resources:

The following CDC publications have more information regarding the outbreak: