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Mississippi sees first case of lung illness caused by vaping



Photo by Lindsay Fox from Newport beach, United States - Vaping | Vape Shop, CC BY 2.0,

Health officials in Mississippi have confirmed the first vaping-related case of lung illness in the state.

Mississippi is the latest state to join in a national investigation into severe pulmonary disease linked to the use of e-cigarette vaping products. Nationwide, there are 380 probable and confirmed cases of lung illness under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state agencies such as  the Mississippi Department of Health. Cases have been reported in 36 states and one U.S. territory. Six recent deaths are being linked to vaping.

Most of the cases have reported vaping cannabis products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or nicotine products, although no single e-cigarette product or device has been consistently identified in all cases.

“Although more investigation is needed to determine the vaping agent or agents responsible, there is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response,” David Christiani of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health wrote in a Sept. 6 editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The CDC suggests people should avoid using e-cigarettes.

“While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products,” Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, incident manager of the CDC’s response to the vaping-related lung injuries told National Public Radio. “People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms, for example, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting — and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns.”

In Mississippi, investigators reportedly found fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, in some of the vaping products they tested.

Until an exact cause of the illness has been determined, the CDC recommends the following actions:

  • If you are concerned about the health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarettes or vaping products.
  • If you are an adult who used e-cigarettes containing nicotine to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes.
  • If you have recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you have symptoms like those reported above, see your healthcare provider.

Additionally, the MSDH reminds Mississippians to not buy products off the street containing THC or other cannabinoids. Do not modify or add substances to e-cigarette products that are not intended by the manufacturer.

Mississippi Healthcare Providers are asked to report any cases of severe pulmonary disease with no clear cause and a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to MSDH at 601-576-7725.

The MSDH recommends that smokers who are attempting to quit cigarettes should use evidence-based treatments such as counseling or FDA-approved medications. The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline is a proven resource that is free to use.

For more information on quitting smoking, visit the MSDH website.

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