CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Health said state and local public health officials are investigating after six Ohioans were diagnosed with a severe pulmonary illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping.
The reports follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent national alert to healthcare providers about pulmonary illnesses linked to vaping in at least 16 states, according to the ODH.
The CDC reported the patient respiratory symptoms included cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other reported symptoms included chest pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea, and weight loss.
In some cases, the patients were hospitalized when their symptoms worsened over days or even weeks, according to the CDC.
The ODH stated those pulmonary illnesses linked to vaping were primarily seen among adolescents and young adults.
However, the ODH claims the investigations into Ohio’s six possible cases are just beginning.
So far, there is no confirmation on what the extent of those illnesses are.
According to the ODH:
“Besides nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe in can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including cancer-causing chemicals; heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead; volatile organic compounds which can adversely impact health; ultrafine particles that can reach deep into lungs; and flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical used to give butter-like and other flavors that is linked to serious lung disease.”
ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH said,
“We are seeing a tremendous increase in vaping among our youth, which is a public health crisis. There is a perception that vaping is safe, and these reports of serious pulmonary illness linked to e-cigarette or vaping product use show that this is simply not true. Anyone who thinks that they may be experiencing serious breathing problems linked to vaping should seek immediate medical attention.”