Aug 17, 2019 - Health

Health officials probe illnesses linked to vaping

An e-cigarette getting charged

Photo: Snap Decision/Getty Images

Almost 100 cases of "mysterious lung illnesses" linked to vaping and e-cigarette use in 14 states have prompted an investigation from state and federal health officials, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: "Officials are warning clinicians and the public to be on alert for what they describe as a severe and potentially dangerous lung injury," WaPo reporters Lena Sun and Lindsey Bever write.


  • Many of the people who have been hospitalized are young adults and teenagers.
  • There are at least 31 confirmed cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping. Officials are investigating dozens more, per Post. There are 15 confirmed cases in Wisconsin alone.
  • Some of the symptoms include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chest pains, says NPR.
  • Some of the cases seem similar. However officials remain uncertain whether the sickness results from the vaping devices, the ingredients or possible contaminants users inhale.

Kim Barnes, mother of a 26-year-old from Burlington, Wis., who has asthma and had been vaping for about a year — then was hospitalized last month and attached to a ventilator:

  • "You need to sit your kids down and tell them the dangers of this stuff."

The bottom line: "[M]edical authorities believe there still isn’t sufficient data to know their full effects, especially on young people," the Post reports.

Go deeper: Doctors, specialists fear "unseen consequences" of teen e-cigarette addiction

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