For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Carson City Health and Human Services, Southern Nevada Health District and Washoe County Health District are warning the public of the potential for severe lung illness associated with the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). The public health authorities are advising people not to use vaping products and e-cigarettes. These products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 450 potential cases and three deaths associated with severe lung illness. At this time, investigators have not identified any specific product or compound that is linked to all cases; however, all patients have reported e-cigarette product use or vaping. In many cases, but not all, patients reported recently using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
There have been no reported cases in Nevada. The public health authorities will work with health care providers to investigate suspected cases in their respective jurisdictions.
The patients who have been hospitalized have reported experiencing a gradual start of symptoms, including:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain)
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
- Non-specific symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss)
The Nevada health authorities advise people who use e-cigarettes to seek medical care right away if any of these symptoms are experienced. People seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now. Additional information for the public includes:
- Never buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
- Avoid modifying e-cigarette products or adding any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
- Tobacco users who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications.
- If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now.
Finally, the Food and Drug Administration encourages the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette–related health product issues at its Safety Reporting Portal or by calling 1-800-222-1222.
More info on the risks of vaping can be found in a report published today by the New England Journal of Medicine.