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LPHI Applauds CDC Action Following Multistate Outbreak Associated with E-Cigarette Use

On Friday, August 30, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory following the multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use. The Louisiana Department of Health also issued an alert asking physicians and other health care providers to report these suspect cases to state health officials. We at the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) fully support these effort to alert the public and health care providers about this dangerous outbreak.

As of August 27, there have been 215 possible cases and one death reported from 25 states, including nine cases in Louisiana. The CDC continues to investigate additional reports of pulmonary illness across the country. All of those who have been affected have reported using e-cigarette products. According to the CDC, available evidence does not currently suggest that an infectious disease is the cause of the illnesses.

We at TFL have continued to voice concern about the dangers of e-cigarettes, despite the fact that they have been promoted as smoking cessation aids. E-cigarettes are NOT regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a cessation aid and some studies suggest that using e-cigarettes could lead to permanent changes in lung function. In addition to containing nicotine, the cartridges used for e-cigarettes and the vapor exhaled can contain carcinogens and toxins, including formaldehyde.

We recommend the general public to stop e-cigarette use and to seek medical care if they experience any symptoms. Those interested in quitting e-cigarettes or other tobacco products can receive support and resources by calling 1-800-Quit-Now or enrolling online.