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ADVISORY CONCERNING ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES, THE PRACTICE OF “VAPING,” “JUULING” AND USE OF OTHER ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS OR ENDS

Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Illness

The Tennessee Department of Health is asking health care providers across the state to report any cases of suspected serious respiratory illness they treat among patients who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.

Patients have had symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms growing worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see a health care provider.

TDH will investigate any cases reported to look for common factors and collect information on specific components or brands of vaping products that may be the source of the illness.

x-ray image of lungs

Tennessee Investigation (as of October 17, 2019):

  • 53* lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette use or vaping have been reported to TDH.
  • One death** has been confirmed.
  • Among 53 patients with data on age and sex:
    • 66 percent of patients are male.
    • The median age of patients is 24 years and ages range from 16 to 56 years.
    • 79 percent of patients are under 35 years old.
  • To date, national data suggest that products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, or illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.

 

*Case - evidence of respiratory illness, with no other cause identified, and report vaping in the last 90 days.

**Death – included in the number of cases

 

Reporting Suspected Cases

Health care providers can report suspected cases through any of the following means:

  • Fill out this form and return by email to vaping.illness@tn.gov or by fax to 615-741-3857, or
  • Contact your regional or metropolitan health department, or
  • Email TDH at vaping.illness@tn.gov to report suspect cases as soon as possible. Please provide
    • Patient’s home county
    • Brief clinical description
    • Reporting provider’s name, email address, telephone number

Additional Resources