Vaping-Associated Lung Injuries - Minnesota Department of Health

Vaping-Associated Lung Injuries

Minnesota Investigation

Confirmed or probable cases: 73
Confirmed deaths: 3
Cases under review: 32
Updated Wednesday, 16-Oct-2019 09:38:26 CDT

Case numbers by county

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is working with local public health and health care providers to investigate reports of severe lung injury potentially related to vaping and e-cigarette use among teens and adults. With similar reports coming from other states, MDH is partnering with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine a cause and what steps may be taken to prevent additional illness. To date more than 1,000 cases have been reported from multiple states. Many of the patients report having vaped illegal THC (a component of cannabis). We are asking health care providers to report similar cases.

While investigators remain focused on these illegal products as a primary concern, health officials cannot guarantee the safety of any vaping products. People vaping nicotine to help quit smoking should consider alternative options to support their quit efforts. People vaping medicine from Minnesota’s medical cannabis program should talk with their health care provider about whether another delivery method may be right for them. People who vape and experience signs of respiratory illness should seek medical care. 

Symptoms

In Minnesota, symptoms have resulted in hospitalizations lasting from days to weeks, with some patients admitted to intensive care units. Symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea. Some patients also reported headache, dizziness and chest pain.

People experiencing lung symptoms after vaping should seek clinical care and avoid e-cigarettes or other vaping products, as continued use may lead to worsening symptoms.

Basics

E-cigarettes, vapes, e-pipes and other vaping products are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale aerosolized liquid. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and harmful to the adolescent brain. In addition, e-cigarette aerosol contains harmful substances, such as ultrafine particles, oil, and heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead.

The U.S. Surgeon General has called teen e-cigarette use an epidemic. According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, one in four Minnesota 11th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. Among eighth graders 11% reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. The survey also found Minnesota youth are ill-informed about the health risks of e-cigarettes with 76% of eleventh graders saying there is either no, slight or a moderate risk to using e-cigarettes.

Information for Parents and Schools

E-cigarettes and Vaping: Resources for Parents

E-cigarettes and Vaping: Resources for Schools

School E-cigarette Toolkit: Addressing Student Use of E-cigarettes and Vapes (PDF)

Information for Health Care Professionals

Vaping-Associated Lung Injuries: Information for Health Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Lung Injury Investigation

Related Information

Updated Wednesday, 16-Oct-2019 09:38:26 CDT