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...

Coronavirus: What providers, patients should know

Article
1/24/2020
A dental assistant with the 319th Medical Group, demonstrates proper sanitary procedure by putting on a face mask at the medical treatment facility on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.

What to do now that virus has appeared in U.S.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health

CBD oil off limits for service members

Article
1/23/2020
A service member checks the label on a supplement. Service members must remain diligent and check labels on consumer products and follow official guidance on CBD products. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

The use of CBD products is prohibited for use by service members

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Substance Abuse

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 1 - January 2020

Report
1/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Active and Reserve Component Service Members and Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2009–June 2019; Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Trends and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2018–2019 Season Among Department of Defense Beneficiaries; Brief Report: The Early Impact of the MHS GENESIS Electronic Health Record System on the Capture of Healthcare Data for the Defense Medical Surveillance System; and Brief Report: Incidence and Prevalence of Idiopathic Corneal Ectasias, Active Component, 2001–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Air Force warns Airmen of e-cigarette risks

Article
12/16/2019
An Airman holds an electronic cigarette at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the more than 2,000 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury that have occurred across the country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erica Crossen)

Many e-cigarette products have a higher concentration of nicotine

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse | Tobacco-Free Living

Don’t die for the high: Fentanyl kills

Article
12/11/2019
Due to the increasing relevance of the drug, the Department of Defense added fentanyl and its metabolite, norfentanyl to all service Drug Demand Reduction Program drug tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than morphine

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 12 - December 2019

Report
12/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: Mitigating the risk of disease from tick-borne encephalitis in U.S. military populations; Tick-borne encephalitis surveillance in U.S. military service members and beneficiaries, 2006–2018; Case report: Tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in beneficiaries of the U.S. military healthcare system in southern Germany; Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2014–June 2019

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

DoD adds fentanyl to drug testing panel

Article
11/22/2019
An Airman from the 436th Air Wing inspects a bottle before being asked to provide a urine sample November 8, 2019. The DoD has a zero tolerance policy for the illegal or improper use of drugs by service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Fentanyl is an opioid, similar to heroin

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Substance Abuse

DHA brings big guns to bear in the war against tobacco use

Article
11/21/2019
Activities like this barbecue for the Great American Smokeout at the 22 Area Single Marine Program recreational center on Camp Pendleton, Calif., are among many efforts to educate service members and beneficiaries about dangers related to tobacco and nicotine use. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anabel Abreu-Rodriguez)

An “edgy and honest” approach to educating service members and beneficiaries

Recommended Content:

Tobacco-Free Living

Antibiotic resistance a serious threat that's growing, CDC warns

Article
11/15/2019
A bacteriology researcher at the Institute of Medical Research swabs an isolated sample of streptococcus pneumonia in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, June 4, 2015. The researcher is testing the bacteria to determine if the strain has sensitivity to antibiotics or if it is resistant.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus Morris/Released)

Newly published paper outlines issue, offers possible solutions

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 11 - November 2019

Report
11/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: Mitigating the risk of disease from tick-borne encephalitis in U.S. military populations; Tick-borne encephalitis surveillance in U.S. military service members and beneficiaries, 2006–2018; Case report: Tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in beneficiaries of the U.S. military healthcare system in southern Germany; Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2014–June 2019

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Anti-Vaping Communications Toolkit 2019

Publication
10/22/2019

This toolkit provides an overview of MHS products highlighting resources to quit tobacco products, articles about the risks of e-cigarette use, and links to other resources.

Recommended Content:

Tobacco-Free Living

Military exchanges extinguish vape sales

Article
10/18/2019
Vape products, including e-cigs, e-cigarettes, vapes, and e-hookahs, are electronic nicotine delivery devices that heat a sometimes flavored nicotine-infused liquid into a vapor that users inhale. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Navy Exchange Service have discontinued the sale of vape products. (DoD photo by Marvin D. Lynchard)

The long-term effects of vaping are unknown and not understood

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Tobacco-Free Living

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 10 - October 2019

Report
10/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: The Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to ocular and vision-related conditions, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Incidence and temporal presentation of visual dysfunction following diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2006–2017; Incidence and prevalence of selected refractive errors, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018; Incident and recurrent cases of central serous chorioretinopathy, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 9 - September 2019

Report
9/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: The Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to ocular and vision-related conditions, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Incidence and temporal presentation of visual dysfunction following diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2006–2017; Incidence and prevalence of selected refractive errors, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018; Incident and recurrent cases of central serous chorioretinopathy, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 8 - August 2019

Report
8/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Modeling Lyme disease host animal habitat suitability, West Point, New York; Incidence, timing, and seasonal patterns of heat illnesses during U.S. Army basic combat training, 2014–2018; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

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.