Two cases of vaping-related lung disease confirmed in Idaho

Idaho public health officials have identified the state’s first two cases of respiratory disease related to vaping.

The two patients are currently recovering.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and state and local public health agencies are investigating serious pulmonary disease among e-cigarette and vape users. There are potentially 450 possible cases reported across 33 states and 1 U.S. territory to date, as well as five reported deaths.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, consumers should avoid purchasing e-cigarette and vaping products from the street, as well as avoid modifying or adding substances to products purchased in stores. They urge anyone who has recently vaped and is experiencing trouble breathing should get medical help immediately.

Medical professionals have been urged to stay alert for cases of respiratory illness from patients who have recently vaped. This includes coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, as well as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

“Idaho healthcare providers are notifying us of patients with severe respiratory symptoms who report vaping in the days or weeks before they became very sick,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner. “We are investigating each report and looking for things that might be common among the patients as well as asking about the types of vaping products and devices people have used to try and pinpoint the source of these illnesses.”

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare alleges that teens have dangerous misconceptions about vaping, believing it to be harmless or less harmful than smoking.

Vaping contains nicotine, the addictive drug found in cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. Nicotine exposure during adolescence reportedly impacts learning, memory, attention and brain development.

The aerosols present in vape devices can also expose users to substances far more dangerous than nicotine – including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be breathed deep into the lungs.

According to Health and Welfare, many vaping products even come in kid-friendly flavors, broadening its appeal among young people.

The latest information about vaping and lung disease can be found on the CDC website.