The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed three cases of severe respiratory illness in individuals who reported a history of vaping. About ten possible cases are currently being reviewed. Symptoms of the illness include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, all of which worsen over time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed nearly 400 cases of lung illness reported from 36 states. Six deaths have been linked to the illness. All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping. Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.

We do not yet know the specific cause of these illnesses, and the investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is linked to all cases. CDC recommends that you consider not using e-cigarette or vaping products until more is known about the cause of this vaping illness.

People who use e-cigarettes or vaping products should not buy these products (e.g., e-cigarette or vaping products with THC, other cannabinoids) off the street, and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.

DPH has requested that health care providers throughout Georgia ask patients presenting with severe respiratory illness about the use of products (devices, liquids, refill pods) used for vaping nicotine and/or THC, and report possible cases to the Georgia Poison Center. Patients with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems should seek medical care.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products, according to the CDC. Use of these products can increase the possibility of addiction and long-term harm to brain development and respiratory health.

For more information about e-cigarettes and vaping, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/about-e-cigarettes.html.