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Vaping-related illnesses reported

The New York State Department of Health today announced new findings of its ongoing investigation into the vaping-associated pulmonary (lung-related) illnesses that have been reported across the state, including an updated case count and information regarding the testing being conducted at the Department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory.nn”The cases of pulmonary illnesses associated with vaping are continuing to rise across New York State and the country,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.”We urge the public to be vigilant about any vaping products that they or any family members may be using and to immediately contact their health care provider if they develop any unusual symptoms. In general, vaping of unknown substances is dangerous, and we continue to explore all options to combat this public health issue.”nnThe Department issued a health advisory in August, alerting health care providers of this emerging health threat and listing symptoms they should look for in patients. As of September 5, 2019, the Department has received 34 reports from New York State physicians of severe pulmonary illness among patients ranging from 15 to 46 years of age who were using at least one cannabis-containing vape product before they became ill. However, all patients reported recent use of various vape products.nnLaboratory test results showed very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by the Wadsworth Center as part of this investigation. At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing. Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape products and was not seen in the nicotine-based products that were tested.nnAs a result, vitamin E acetate is now a key focus of the Department’s investigation of potential causes of vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses. Vitamin E acetate is a commonly available nutritional supplement that is not known to cause harm when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin. However, the Department continues to investigate its health effects when inhaled because its oil-like properties could be associated with the observed symptoms.

PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Health is reporting two confirmed cases of vaping related illness among residents aged 20-24 years. South Dakota joins 33 states who have reported cases of severe respiratory illness from e-cigarettes.

Patients typically experienced respiratory symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, and may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or fatigue.

“We will work with patients and healthcare providers to collect information to inform the national outbreak investigation and help CDC identify the cause of these illnesses,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals consider not using e-cigarette products while the investigation is ongoing. People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer, such as illicit THC products. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

The South Dakota QuitLine offers free coaching to quit tobacco and vaping product use. South Dakotans can enroll in the program by calling 1.866.SD QUITS or by visiting SDQuitLine.com.

To learn more about the national investigation visit CDC’s website.

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