Following an "outbreak" of hospitalizations potentially related to vaping, on Friday morning the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning against vaping bootleg e-liquids and using "street" e-cig products. They also recommend people not brew up e-liquids or "juice" in their own garages and vape them with custom vapes.
The CDC recommends that people avoid vaping altogether, especially pregnant people and teens. That recommendation includes smokers who vape to stop smoking. Instead, people trying to quit should pair therapy with FDA-approved products such as gums, patches, and lozenges. "If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health," the advisory reads.
This is the kinda stuff they're worried about:
E-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (e.g., lead), volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals. Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances; may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized (i.e., “street”) sources; and may be modified for uses that could increase their potential for harm to the user.
Over 200 hospitalizations of people who reported vaping something—either cannabinoid or nicotine-related—across 25 states sparked the health alert. That advisory's authors (and the New York Times) makes special note of a patient in Illinois who died in the hospital in August, which was about a month after she sought medical treatment for a "severe pulmonary disease." The CDC didn't say whether she vaped nicotine or THC, according to the Times, they only said she had recently vaped.
There have been zero reported cases of vape-related illnesses in Washington, according to a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Health.
A spokesperson for King County Health confirms there have been no local cases, but adds that the agency has "sent an alert out to local health care providers to be on the lookout and report any suspected cases to us."
Lester Black contributed reporting.