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Health Alert: Severe Lung Disease Among Persons Who Report Vaping

Date: 09/06/19

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is investigating suspected cases of pulmonary disease among individuals who report vaping. Similar cases have occurred in multiple other states, some resulting in hospitalization. All suspect cases reported vaping with products including nicotine and/or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Evaluation for infectious diseases was negative in all patients.

DSHS is working with other states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better characterize case demographics, clinical characteristics, and exposures.

Recommendations for Clinicians

Health-care providers should:

  • Ask patients presenting with respiratory symptoms about vaping history. If possible, inquire about the types of products used and methods of use.
  • If vaping fluid commonly used by the patient is available, ask that it be set aside (not used) in case it is needed for testing.
  • Be aware that some suspect cases have required high-level intensive care and respiratory support.

Suspected cases should be reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services at 512-776-7268.

To access the full health alert from DSHS, please review: Severe Lung Disease and Vaping Health Alert - 08/16/19.

For information on Medicaid and CHIP Tobacco Cessation Benefits to share with your patients, please review: Summary of Tobacco Cessation Benefits in Medicaid and CHIP.