Vaping-Associated Lung Injury Outbreak

Updated Oct. 15, 2019

Across the United States, there have been reports of vaping-associated lung injury and deaths associated with vaping (using vapor products). As of October 2019, there have been seven cases of vaping-associated lung injury in Washington state and more than 1,000 nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other state and local agencies are currently investigating this outbreak. The specific cause of the lung injury is unknown.

Symptoms reported by some patients in this outbreak have included the following:

  • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, fever or weight loss

In response to the outbreak, the Washington State Board of Health passed an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vapor products, including flavored THC vapor products on Oct. 9, 2019. The rule took effect on Oct. 10, 2019 and lasts for 120 days.

The Washington State Department of Health and The Board of Health are working with the Liquor and Cannabis Board to implement and enforce the emergency rule. State and local public health officials continue to investigate the outbreak while providing information and warnings to consumers around the risks of vaping. Health care providers are also asked to report all suspected cases.

About Vapor Products & Vaping

Vapor products are devices that produce an aerosol (particles suspended in the air), not a vapor, by heating a liquid that contains many chemicals. Users inhale the aerosol and chemicals into their lungs. Vapor product use is referred to as “vaping” because the liquid solution resembles a vapor when it is inhaled.


Updates on the outbreak

Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping – Centers for Disease Control

Vaping Associated Lung Injury – Washington State Dept. of Health

Information and support for adults who use vapor products or other tobacco or marijuana products

How to Quit – Washington State Department of Health or call 1.800.QUIT.NOW.

Washington Recovery Helpline or call 1.800.789.1511.

Information for organizations

Tobacco, Vapor Product & Marijuana Prevention Presentation Request Form

Information for retailers

Disposing of Vapor Products