What we know about the vaping outbreak

Jan. 29, 2020

Since August 2019, CDC and health departments across the country have been tracking the outbreak of vaping illness that has affected so many. Thanks to this huge effort, which also included some poison centers, we now have a pretty good picture of the patient population that has been hit the most. 

A breakdown of the 2,668 hospitalized patients reveal that:

  • Median age was 24 years
  • 66% were male
  • 82% reported using a THC-containing e-cigarette
  • 73% were non-Hispanic white
  • Emergency Department visits for this outbreak have sharply declined since September

Vitamin E acetate has been heavily linked to this illness. While it is generally safe when swallowed as part of a supplement, it can be extremely dangerous when inhaled and make it harder for the lungs to work normally. Vitamin E acetate was found to be an additive mostly in THC-containing e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes that were obtained from a friend or an in-person or on-line dealer had the highest risk of containing Vitamin E acetate.

In Arizona, there have been 21 cases reported but zero deaths.

For more information about e-cigarettes and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from this illness, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease/need-to-know/index.html