Intended for healthcare professionals


Don’t vape, CDC says, as US lung disease epidemic grows

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 09 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5479
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York, USA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans to stop using e-cigarettes as a multi-state epidemic of a mysterious lung disease spreads.

More than 450 possible cases of the lung illness have been reported from 33 states and the US Virgin Islands. The first case appeared in April. There have been five deaths so far.

There has been no evidence of infection, but all those affected had used e-cigarettes. Chemical exposure to a contaminant is suspected as the cause.

Electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, are battery operated devices that heat a liquid and deliver an aerosol that the user inhales (called vaping). The liquid usually contains nicotine, flavouring, and other chemicals. Marijuana products may be included. Medical and recreational marijuana is legally available in some US states. However, e-cigarette users may also purchase liquids or “pods” for their devices on the street or may make their own vaping products.

Use of e-cigarettes has increased rapidly among US high school students; last year 20.8% reported using e-cigarettes.1 …

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