For the Public: What You Need to Know

Symptoms of Lung Injury Reported by Some Patients in This Outbreak
  • Patients in this investigation have reported symptoms such as:
    • cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
    • fever, chills, or weight loss
  • Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A lung infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms.

If you have questions about CDC’s investigation into the lung injuries associated with use of electronic cigarette, or vaping, products, contact CDC-INFO or call 1-800-232-4636.

Recommendations
  • CDC recommends that people should not:
    • Use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
    • Buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping products, particularly those containing THC, off the street.
    • Modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
  • Since the specific cause or causes of lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that people are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette and vaping products.
  • If you are an adult using e-cigarettes, or vaping, products to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. Adults addicted to nicotine using e-cigarettes should weigh all risks and benefits, and consider utilizing FDA approved nicotine replacement therapies.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • There is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk.
  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for all ages, including youth and young adults. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • Irrespective of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette, or vaping, products should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant.
  • If people continue to use e-cigarette, or vaping, products they should carefully monitor themselves for symptoms, and see a healthcare provider immediately if symptoms develop

If you are an adult who is trying to quit smoking:

If you are an adult who is addicted to marijuana:

If you are a teen or young adult who is trying to quit nicotine or marijuana:

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette, or vaping, product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Irrespective of the Ongoing Investigation:
  • E-cigarette, or vaping, products should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • THC use has been associated with a wide range of health effects, particularly with prolonged heavy use. The best way to avoid potentially harmful effects is to not use THC, including through e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Persons with marijuana use disorder should seek evidence-based treatment by a health care provider.
  • There is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk.
  • CDC will continue to update guidance, as appropriate, as new data emerges from this complex outbreak.
Texas Provides NRT as Part of a Range of Tobacco Cessation Measures in Mental Health Treatment Settings - photo of a doctor taking notes during a session with his patient.
Safety Reporting Portal

CDC and FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.

Questions about E-cigarette Use, or Vaping

What is an e-cigarette?

  • Electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes – work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.
  • The liquid can contain: nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances, flavorings, and additives.
  • E-cigarettes are also called vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

What is vaping?

  • Using an e-cigarette is commonly called vaping.
  • Vaping can refer to using e-cigarettes to inhale many substances, including nicotine, and THC or CBD oils.

What should I do if I have used e-cigarettes and have symptoms?

  • See a healthcare provider right away if you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak.
  • You can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  • You can also submit a detailed report of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.

What if I’m an adult who quit cigarette smoking and now uses e-cigarettes?

  • If you are an adult who uses e-cigarettes because you have quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes; use evidence-based treatments, including healthcare provider counseling and FDA approved medications.
  • If you continue to use e-cigarettes, carefully monitor yourself for symptoms and see a healthcare provider right away if you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak.

What is marijuana (THC)?

What are the health risks of marijuana (THC)?

  • Marijuana use has been associated with a wide range of health effects, particularly with prolonged heavy use.
  • These effects range from short-term problems with attention, memory, learning, to longer-term problems such as psychosis, anxiety, suicidal ideation and attempts, depression, and substance use disorder. It is not known whether these are causal relationships or simply associations.
  • The best way to avoid potentially harmful effects is to not use marijuana.

How does marijuana use during adolescence affect youth?

  • Marijuana use, including in e-cigarettes or through vaping, is associated with a broad range of health effects. Marijuana use can harm the developing adolescent brain and impact attention, learning, and memory. Starting to use marijuana at a younger age increases the likelihood of frequent and problematic use later in life.
  • Youth marijuana use has also been associated with antisocial and oppositional behaviors, nicotine use, poor school performance, use of other illicit substances and the development of substance use disorders, and impairments in social relationships. See the recent Surgeon General’s Advisory: Marijuana Use and the Developing Brainexternal icon.
  • Regardless of the substance used, e-cigarette or vaping products should never be used by youth or pregnant women. It is important for parents to communicate with their child about the risks of nicotine, THC, or other substance use. CDC offers a Talk With Your Teen About E-cigarettespdf iconexternal icon tip sheet to help parents talk with their children about why e-cigarettes are harmful for them.

What should I do if I am currently vaping marijuana/THC for medical use?

  • We recommend that people should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
  • If you have recently used a THC-containing product in an e-cigarette, or vaping, product and you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak see a healthcare provider.
  • We do not know if there are different health effects of using different forms of marijuana, such as smoking, vaping, and edibles, to recommend transitioning from one mode of use to another to reduce harm. Talk with your healthcare provider about other available treatment options for the conditions).

 How are states regulating THC-containing vaping products?

  • Some states have legalized the use of THC-containing vaping products for nonmedical and/or medical purposes.
  • State regulations vary with regard to product pre-approval processes, ingredient requirements and/or limitations, packaging and labeling, and testing requirements and methods. States typically conduct various levels of testing of products, including testing for potency, contaminants, metals, pesticides, and/or pathogens.
  • Both THC-containing and nicotine-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products purchased legally within states might also contain harmful substances. It is difficult to know what is in these products, and full ingredient lists are typically not available. It is difficult to know what substances the products contain and potential for harm.
Questions about Flu Season and the Use of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Products

Should I get vaccinated for the flu if using e-cigarettes, or vaping, products?

  • CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, including people who use e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Flu is especially dangerous for pregnant women, people of any age with certain long-term health conditions, people 65 and older and young children. Check out Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine for more information.

If experiencing symptoms of lung injury, please see a healthcare provider right away.

Key Resources

CDC Resources

FDA Resources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Resources

Quitting Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens

Publications

If you have questions about CDC’s investigation into the lung injuries associated with use of electronic cigarette, or vaping, products, contact CDC-INFO or call 1-800-232-4636.