Vaping in Louisiana

Outbreak Background

CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury) associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use. Although the etiology of EVALI is undetermined, epidemiologic investigations in affected states are ongoing to better characterize the exposures, demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and behaviors of patients. All patients have reported using e-cigarette products. The exact number is currently unknown, but many patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD.

The Louisiana Department of Health is asking physicians and other healthcare providers to report severe respiratory illnesses among patients that report a history of e-cigarette use to state health officials.

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What are E-Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are devices that deliver an aerosol to the user by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver marijuana or other substances.

E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

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Recommendations for the public

  • If you are concerned about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes, consider discontinuing the products.
  • E-cigarette products should not be bought off the street and should not be modified or have substances not intended for use by the manufacturer added.
  • Youth, young adults and pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products, should not use e-cigarettes.
  • Monitor for symptoms of severe side effects if you do use e-cigarettes. If you do develop symptoms, seek medical attention. These symptoms include:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Fever
    • Weight loss
  • Adult smokers who are looking to quit smoking can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.quitwithusla.org for information on FDA-approved counseling and medications.

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How Many Cases are There in Louisiana

AS OF NOVEMBER 8, 2019
  Substance/Exposure
Outbreak Cases Deaths Age Range Median Age Nicotine Nicotine & THC THC
29 0 17-71 28 21% 55% 24%

 

Vaping Cases Chart

  • 29 cases of EVALI were reported to Louisiana health officials between August and November of 2019. Those cases were reported from throughout the state with the ages ranging from 17-71.
  • There have been no deaths in Louisiana associated with this illness.
  • Click here for Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products information from the CDC site.

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Resources for the Public

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Information for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers should report cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and a history of e-cigarette product use to the Louisiana Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section at 1-800-256-2748 within one business day.

Reporting of cases may help CDC and state health departments determine the cause or causes of EVALI.

Ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of EVALI.

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