Fifth vaping-related illness confirmed in Clark County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 9, 2019
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed a fifth case of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes or vaping product use in a Clark County resident. The individual is over the age of 18. The five reported cases in Clark County include one individual under the age of 18 and two under the age of 20. The first case confirmed in Clark County was reported in September 2019.
Among Clark County’s reported cases, one of the individuals reported using e-cigarettes with nicotine products only. Four of the individuals reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, and three of the five also reported using cannabinoid (CBD) oils. All of the individuals reported purchasing or acquiring their products from different sources, including friends, retail outlets, and through online purchases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified vitamin E acetate as the chemical of concern among people with e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI). Recent CDC laboratory testing of samples of fluid collected from the lungs of 29 patients with e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury from 10 states found vitamin E acetate in all the fluid samples. Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in the production of e-cigarettes or vaping products. This was the first time the CDC has detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries.
“While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with these illnesses, there is still not enough evidence to rule out other chemicals of concern. Other substances and products are still under investigation by the CDC, and there may be multiple factors contributing to this outbreak,” said Dr. Michael Johnson, Director, Community Health Division of the Southern Nevada Health District. “We continue to recommend that people not use e-cigarettes and vaping products, particularly those from informal sources such as friends, family, or unlicensed dealers,” said Dr. Johnson.
The Health District and the CDC further recommend these products never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products. People who currently use tobacco products who wish to quit smoking should use FDA-approved therapies. People should not buy any type of e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC from informal sources such as friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers. Devices and substances should not be modified or used in ways that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
Nevada residents, ages 13 and older who are seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) from a Nevada area code.
Anyone who used e-cigarettes or vaping products in the last 90 days and developed a severe respiratory illness that is not associated with other viral infections such as influenza or bacterial infections, is encouraged to contact their health care provider to report the illness to the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, (702) 759-1300.
Up to date information on the outbreak is available on the CDC website.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.