Vaping Associated Lung Injury
The Hawaii Department of Health has confirmed two cases of severe respiratory illness associated with e-cigarette use (also known as “vaping”). The first illness occurred in a Hawaii island resident under the age of 18 years. The second illness occurred in a young adult resident from Kauai. Both cases appear to be linked to a national outbreak.
As of October 15, more than 1,400 cases have been reported in 49 states (all except Alaska), including 33 deaths reported in 24 states. No single type of vaping device or product has been identified as the cause of the lung injuries and illnesses, but investigations are ongoing.
The Disease Outbreak Control Division is investigating all reported cases and coordinating with state and federal partners to try to identify the cause.
For current recommendations on e-cigarettes and vaping for the public, go here.
The Disease Outbreak Control Division is investigating all reports of potential vaping injuries. So far, there has only been one confirmed case of severe respiratory illness caused by vaping. There have been other reports of suspected vaping injuries that were later determined to have an alternative cause.
In Hawai‘i, data from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey and Youth Risk Behavior Survey show that 25.5 percent of high school students currently smoke e-cigarettes, which is twice the national average and the second highest in the nation.
If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, contact your health care provider.
As investigations continue, the the Department of Health is urging the public to avoid using vaping products, especially any products obtained off the street or that may contain added substances.
Regardless of the outcome of the the outbreak investigation, e-cigarette products should never be used by children, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
For anyone who wants to quit smoking or vaping, the Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline (HTQL) offers free FDA-approved nicotine-replacement therapy and assistance regardless of insurance status. Call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit https://hawaiiquitline.org/
For medical advice, the public can also call the Hawai‘i Poison Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222, which is staffed 24/7 with trained nurses, pharmacists and toxicologists, or visit their website at https://www.hipoisoncenter.org/
More resources for parents and educators can be found at http://www.hawaiinovape.com/
The Department of Health is urging physicians to be on alert for signs of severe respiratory illness among patients who recently used vaping products and to report any cases to the Disease Outbreak Control Division at (808)586-4586.
More information can be found at our lung injury page for healthcare providers.