Statement from CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., on lung injury and deaths associated with e-cigarette or vaping products

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Today CDC announced that 530 people have experienced lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products. CDC has received complete sex and age data on 373 cases. Two thirds (67%) of cases are people 18 to 34 years old, and 16% are younger than 18 years old. Of these, three fourths (72%) of the cases are male.

Any tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, especially for youth. Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain. We must do everything we can to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students to protect them from immediate lung injury and a lifetime of nicotine addiction.

CDC, FDA and its state partners are engaged in a complex investigation that spans many states, involves hundreds of cases, and involves a wide variety of substances and products. What we do know is that all cases have one thing in common: the use of e-cigarettes or vaping devices.  Most of the cases reported using THC or both THC and nicotine. Some of the cases have reported using only nicotine.

While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit are advised to consult with their doctors about which FDA-approved nicotine cessation products are right for them.

If you experience a problem with any tobacco product, such as an unexpected health or safety issue, report it to the FDA online using the Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.

–Robert R. Redfield, MD, CDC Director

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

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Page last reviewed: September 19, 2019