Six probable cases of vaping-related lung illness under investigation in North Dakota
In addition, one case in North Dakota has been confirmed. In other news, Mississippi reported its first vaping-related illness, and Michigan enacted a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Earlier in the week, the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to enhance its response to cases of illnesses and death associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping.
North Dakota has one confirmed case of severe vaping-related lung illness and six probable cases that are under investigation, according to a statement released by the North Dakota Department of Health on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
“As the department receives reports, we will continue to gather and analyze the data to help identify the potential cause or causes of these illnesses,” said Kodi Pinks, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health. “We are working closely with the CDC as this illness continues to be investigated. We will continue to provide updates to the public as more information becomes available.“
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency rules banning flavored nicotine vaping products were released Wednesday. The emergency rules are effective immediately, though retailers and resellers, including those online, have 14 days to comply.
“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said. “For too long, companies have gotten our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends today. This bold action will protect our kids and our overall public health.”
In Mississippi, that state's Department of Health reported its first identified case of a vaping-related lung illness on Wednesday.
Earlier this week on Monday, Sept. 16, the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to enhance its response to cases of lung injury associated with vaping.
“CDC has made it a priority to find out what is causing this outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping-related injuries and deaths,” said Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, in a statement. “Activation of CDC’s Emergency Operations Center allows us to enhance operations and provide additional support to CDC staff working to protect our nation from this serious health threat.”
CDC also continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to collect information about recent e-cigarette product use, or vaping, among patients and to test the substances or chemicals within e-cigarette products used by case patients. Redfield said he supports efforts to clear flavored e-cigarettes from the market.
"This is an important step in response to the epidemic of e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth, and will help protect them from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks. Clearing the market of non-tobacco-flavored products is important to reverse this alarming epidemic," he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 states and one United States territory have reported more than 380 potential cases of severe respiratory illness associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products among teenagers and adults. Seven deaths have been reported from six states. No consistent e-cigarette or vaping product, substance or additive has been identified in all cases, nor has any one product or substance been conclusively linked to severe respiratory illness in patients.
The state Department of Health is asking health care providers to continue to watch for cases of severe respiratory illness and ask about recent vaping and e-cigarette use. Individuals experiencing symptoms and have a history of e-cigarette use or vaping should call the reporting hotline at 866-207-2880 or visit ndhealth.gov to take the confidential survey.