On Wednesday, September 11 the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health Seattle-King County announced the first Washington State case of severe lung illness linked to vaping. The case is one of more than 450 cases throughout the U.S. that are being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration. Six deaths associated with the outbreak have been confirmed. There are currently no cases in Whatcom County.
The CDC investigation is ongoing and has not identified a clear cause of the illnesses, but all reported cases have a history of using vaping devices. The symptoms of the Washington State case match the ones the CDC has asked state and local public health departments to be monitoring for.
Vaping devices – also known as JUULs, e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vape pens, or electronic nicotine delivery systems – can contain nicotine, cannabis (THC or CBD), or other substances like flavors and other chemicals.
Nicotine and marijuana can be harmful in any form, and the healthiest choice is to not smoke or vape. Youth, young adults, and pregnant women – and adults who do not already use tobacco products – shouldn’t use e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.
If you continue to use vaping devices:
- Monitor yourself for symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. If symptoms develop, seek medical care right away.
- Don’t buy these products off the street.
- Don’t modify vape products or add any substances to them that are not intended by the manufacturer.
If you’re trying to quit using tobacco products, use evidence-based treatment, such as counseling and FDA-approved medications. For help quitting, including quitting vape products like e-cigarettes, talk to your health care provider.
If you or a loved one want help quitting marijuana, visit the Recovery Helpline or call 1-866-789-1511.
For more info:
CDC Outbreak Investigation
Washington State Department of Health – Severe Lung Illness
Public Health Seattle-King County – Public Health Insider blog updates
Food and Drug Administration
Vape Products (DOH)