Back to Top Skip to main content

Health agencies investigating severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use

"While the CDC investigation of the possible cases of lung illness and deaths reportedly associated with the use of e-cigarette products is ongoing, Service members and their families or dependents are encouraged not to use e-cigarette products,” advised Dr. Terry Adirim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Services Policy and Oversight. (DoD photo) "While the CDC investigation of the possible cases of lung illness and deaths reportedly associated with the use of e-cigarette products is ongoing, Service members and their families or dependents are encouraged not to use e-cigarette products,” advised Dr. Terry Adirim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Services Policy and Oversight. (DoD photo)

Recommended Content:

Tobacco-Free Living | Substance Abuse | Public Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other public health partners to investigate a multistate outbreak of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use.

As of Sept. 6, the CDC said, 33 states as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands have reported more than 450 possible cases of lung illnesses associated with using e-cigarette products. Six deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

The products under investigation include devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges. A cause has not yet been identified, the CDC says, but all reported cases have a history of using e-cigarette products.

The CDC said the investigation so far has not identified a specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The CDC recommends that people consider not using e-cigarette products while the investigation is ongoing. Those who do use these products should seek prompt medical care if they experience symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; or fatigue, fever, or weight loss.

Some patients reported that their symptoms developed anywhere from over a few days to over several weeks, the CDC said.

Regardless of the investigation, the CDC warns that pregnant women, youth, and young adults should not use e-cigarette products. Adults who do use these products should not buy them off the street, nor modify them with substances not intended by the manufacturer.

"While the CDC investigation of the possible cases of lung illness and deaths reportedly associated with the use of e-cigarette products is ongoing, Service members and their families or dependents are encouraged not to use e-cigarette products,” advised Dr. Terry Adirim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Services Policy and Oversight. “Current users of e-cigarettes are encouraged to report any symptoms like those reported in this outbreak including cough, shortness of breath, chest pain nausea, vomiting, diarrhea fatigue, fever, or weight loss and seek medical care promptly."

E-cigarette use sometimes is called vaping. As the CDC explains, the products are also known as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems).

E-cigarettes come in different shapes and sizes. Some may look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Others look like everyday items such as pens and flash drives.

Most have a battery heating element, and a place to hold a liquid. E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine – the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products – flavorings, and other chemicals. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales into the air.

The Military Health System offers information on the health risks of tobacco use as well as resources for how to stop using it or avoid starting.

You also may be interested in...

MHS immunization experts will answer questions about flu vaccine

Article
9/16/2020
Soldier giving another soldier a flu shot

Real-time Facebook event set for 3-4 p.m. EDT Sept. 17

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Preventive Health | Public Health | Coronavirus

Wildfire smoke wreaks havoc on respiratory and immune systems

Article
9/11/2020
Picture of a military tent; an orange, smoky hue surrounds the tent and soldiers

State and country health advisory alerts on diminished air quality have been posted and shared to alert local populations.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Thirteen years ago Ft. Knox prepared for outbreak scenarios

Article
9/10/2020
Front page of newspaper

Some of the preventive measures that surfaced from the 2007 exercise included the wearing of facial coverings, regular sanitizing of surfaces and social distancing by such means as teleworking.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Army radiology instructor and medic render assistance to crash victim

Article
9/2/2020
Mom and Dad in military gear with their young son.

Their medical training helped with knowing the steps for CPR and how to check responsiveness and breathing.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Elective surgeries resume within the San Antonio Military Health System

Article
8/25/2020
Two surgeons in an operating room

Patients whose procedures were delayed will be contacted by their surgical team or clinic.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Air Force invention kills toxins on contact

Article
8/20/2020
Man in white coat doing experiments

An Air Force invention could be key to reducing the amount of airborne microbes...inside buildings and homes.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Health and Housing | Mold | Health and Housing

NMHM looks back at the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ for one Maryland county

Article
8/19/2020
Black and white image of hospital beds lined up in rows, occupied by sick people

The 1918 flu resembled a more severe cold.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Back-to-school vaccinations in the age of coronavirus

Article
8/12/2020
Medical technician wearing a mask, filling an immunization needle

DHA experts answer questions about back-to-school vaccines

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | August Toolkit

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 8 - August 2020

Report
8/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Commentary: The limited role of vaccines in the prevention of acute gastroenteritis; Diarrhea and associated illness characteristics and risk factors among British active duty service members at Askari Storm training exercise, Nanyuki, Kenya, January–June 2014; Surveillance snapshot: Norovirus outbreaks in military forces, 2015–2019; Update: Incidence of acute gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010–2019.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Innovative RX pad creates path for prescribing mobile health technology

Article
7/15/2020
Military health care provider demonstrates the use of the T2 Mood Tracker app to a patient.

Technology and healthcare are constantly evolving fields.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

For some, working from home brings neck and back pain

Article
7/10/2020
Chiropractor adjusting another man's back

"[T]he most common complaint of teleworkers is neck and upper back pain between the shoulder blades."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Summer’s here – stay safe!

Article
7/8/2020
Image of Coast Guard employee talking with man on boat

Remember these tips while enjoying the summer

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Summer Safety | Total Force Fitness

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 7 - July 2020

Report
7/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hearing conservation measures of effectiveness across the Department of Defense; Alcohol-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and co-occurring injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2009–2018; Surveillance snapshot: Cervical cancer screening among U.S. military service women in the Millennium Cohort Study, 2003–2015; Epidemiology of functional neurological disorder, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Public Health Emergency Officers balance risk and mission during crisis

Article
6/17/2020
Military personnel packing sanitizing products

PHEOs are military treatment facility staff who are designated to serve as a resource to help guide installation commanders during a large scale public health incident.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Defending the Homeland: A Determined Descendant and a Navy Hospital's Response to COVID-19

Article
6/9/2020
Image of Navy captain, wearing a mask, standing next to a piece of paper on the wall

Althoff and her team at the Quality Management directorate serve as a locus of coordination for clinical support operations.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 27

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.