Health Department Investigates Severe Lung Disease Among E-cigarette Users

News Release
Aug. 19, 2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services is investigating suspected Texas cases of severe lung disease in people who used e-cigarettes. DSHS was first notified of possible cases last week following similar reports in youth and young adults in several other states.

A DSHS health alert asks health care providers to watch for cases of severe lung disease and ask about e-cigarette use, or vaping, in patients with severe respiratory symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. DSHS is urging clinicians who identify cases to gather information about the products used and ask patients to save the vaping liquid in case it’s needed for testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 94 cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in 14 states dating back to late June. All patients have tested negative for infectious diseases, and some have required hospitalization. In addition to respiratory symptoms, some patients experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

More information is needed to determine a cause, and DSHS is working with the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and other states to gather evidence about what the cases have in common and what is leading to the injuries.

Vaping is not safe for kids, youth or young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that can affect brain development in the teens and 20s. Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Find more vaping facts at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/tobacco/E-Cigarettes.

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(News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119)

Last updated September 5, 2019