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Mississippi health officials urge awareness of severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other states in alerting the public to severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarette products.

While there have been no cases reported in Mississippi, nationwide there have been 215 possible cases and one death reported –all reporting vaping or use of e-cigarette products before their illness. Many of the cases have reported vaping cannabis products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD oils, although no single e-cigarette product or device has been consistently identified in all cases.

The symptoms of severe pulmonary disease seen in these cases include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Symptoms develop gradually over days to weeks.

“Vaping among youth and young adults is an increasingly common problem in the United States and in Mississippi,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “E-cigarettes contain many harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, and carry significant health risks.”

If you are using e-cigarette products, monitor for symptoms. Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms and be sure to notify the doctor about your e-cigarette use.

Some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances which may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized sources. “Do not buy products off the street containing THC or other cannabinoids. Do not modify or add substances to e-cigarette products that are not intended by the manufacturer,” said Dr. Byers.

The MSDH is asking all healthcare providers in Mississippi to report any cases of severe pulmonary disease with no clear cause and a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days.

The MSDH recommends that smokers who are attempting to quit cigarettes should use evidence-based treatments such as counseling or FDA-approved medications.

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