Drugs & Health Blog

Vaping-Related Illnesses and Deaths: What We Know So Far

©Shutterstock/Daria Chernobrovkina

The NIDA Blog Team

In the past few months, thousands of people have developed serious lung illnesses after vaping (using e-cigarettes). Some people have died as a result. Most of the vaping products contained THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes the high, but some contained only nicotine.  

As of November 13, 2019:

  • 2,172 cases of these illnesses have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cases were in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories.
  • The illnesses have led to 42 deaths in 24 states.

The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other organizations are investigating the connections between vaping and these illnesses and deaths. In the meantime, the FDA has issued these warnings:

  1. Don’t use any vaping products of any kind bought on the street.
  2. Don’t modify (change) any vaping products purchased in stores, and don’t use THC oil.

The CDC recommends that people consider not using any e-cigarette (vaping) products—particularly products that contain THC.

So far, we know that:

  • Vaping products containing THC appear to play a major role in the outbreak. In about 86% of cases, the person had used a product containing THC; 34% reported using products that contained only THC.
  • About 64% had used products containing nicotine; 11% reported using products that contained only nicotine.
  • Read more about what we know.

There’s a lot we don’t know yet:

Vaping is already risky for teens. Tell your friends about the risks, and about the illnesses and deaths associated with vaping. As more facts come in, we’ll report them here.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

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