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TDH reports six cases of serious disease from e-cigs in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported six cases of suspected serious respiratory disease among people who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a cluster of severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes or vape, with 215 cases reported to date in 25 states.

‘’Tennessee health care providers are reporting to us any patients they treat for severe respiratory symptoms who report vaping in the weeks before they got sick,‘’ said TDH State Epidemiologist Tim Jones, MD. ‘’We’re investigating to look for common factors and collect information on specific components or brands of vaping products that may be the source of the illness.‘’

Patients across the country associated with this outbreak have had symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and/or chest pain, growing worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. In many but not all cases, patients have acknowledged recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC-containing e-cigarette products. Most of the cases are among adolescents and young adults.

TDH is providing information about this investigation and the number of Tennessee patients associated with this outbreak online at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/vaping-illness.html. This page will be updated weekly by 3:30 p.m. Central time each Thursday with any additional cases reported.

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Electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices are not approved by the FDA for smoking cessation. Smokers 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 your health care provider, your local health department or the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.tnquitline.org/.

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