Hartford, CT - The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today is reporting four more Connecticut residents who were ill with lung injuries possibly related to using e-cigarettes or vaping, bringing the total to 38 cases that have been reported to DPH. One patient remains in the hospital. The 38 cases involve residents from seven Connecticut counties: Fairfield (17), New Haven (9), Hartford (4), New London (3), Tolland (3), Litchfield (1), and Windham (1). The age breakdown of the patients is as follows: Under 18 years of age (5), 18 to 24 years of age (11), 25 to 34 years of age (9), 35 years of age and older (13). According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of October 31, 2019 there have been a total of 1,888 cases of vaping-related lung injury had been reported from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. The CDC also reported 37 deaths had been confirmed in 24 states.
“This outbreak remains a major public health concern,” said DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell. “We continue to see new cases of lung injuries among those who have also reported vaping both nicotine and marijuana based material. I want to remind everyone that the best way to prevent these lung injuries is not to use e-cigarette or vaping products, especially until the specific root causes of these adverse health effects have been identified.”
Vaping products that contain THC, a psychoactive compound derived from marijuana, seem to play a major role in the outbreak. Among 25 Connecticut patients interviewed by DPH, 19 reported using THC-containing e-cigarette or vaping products. However, no one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak.
All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry risk. Regardless of the current investigation, youth, young adults, and women who are pregnant should never use e-cigarette or vaping products. More information about the investigation can be found on CDC’s webpage:
If you are an adult using e-cigarette or vaping products to quit smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. People who would like assistance with quitting tobacco use, the statewide tobacco use cessation telephone Quitline is available via 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or in Spanish at 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569). Quitline resources are available online at www.CommitToQuitCT.com or www.BecomeAnEx.org while smartphone apps may be downloaded from www.SmokeFree.gov and any teens can text DITCHJUUL to 88-709. Adults who want to help a teen quit may text “QUIT” to 202-899-7550. For anyone who would like help quitting their use of cannabis products, residents may call 211 or (800) 203-1234 for a referral.