Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products

This is an official CDC HEALTH ADVISORY


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing: 1) background information on the forms of e-cigarette products, 2) information on the multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges), and 3) clinical features of patients with severe pulmonary disease. This health advisory also provides recommendations for clinicians, public health officials, and the public based on currently available information.

General Background

E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, most also contain flavorings and other chemicals, and some may contain marijuana or other substances. They are known by many different names and come in many shapes, sizes and device types. Devices may be referred to as “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “mods,” tanks, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Some e-cigarette devices resemble other tobacco products such as cigarettes; some resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, and flashlights; and others have unique shapes. Use of e-cigarettes is sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling.” E-cigarettes used for dabbing are sometimes called “dab” pens.

E-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (e.g., lead), volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals. Additionally, some e-cigarette products are used to deliver illicit substances; may be acquired from unknown or unauthorized (i.e., “street”) sources; and may be modified for uses that could increase their potential for harm to the user. For example, some e-cigarette pods or cartridges marketed for single use can be refilled with illicit or unknown substances. In addition, some e-cigarette products are used for “dripping” or “dabbing.” Dripping involves dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of an e-cigarette which can result in high concentrations of compounds (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] and cannabinoid compounds). Dabbing involves superheating substances such as “budder”, butane hash oil (BHO), and “710” that contain high concentrations of THC and other plant compounds (e.g., cannabidiol [CBD]).

Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes containing nicotine have the potential to help some individual adult smokers reduce their use of and transition away from cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit smoking aid, and the available science is inconclusive on whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

Outbreak Background

As of August 27, 2019, 215 possible cases have been reported from 25 states and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under investigation. One patient (in Illinois) with a history of recent e-cigarette use was hospitalized on July 29, 2019 with severe pulmonary disease and died on August 20, 2019. Although the etiology of e-cigarette-associated pulmonary disease is undetermined, epidemiologic investigations in affected states are ongoing to better characterize the exposures, demographic, clinical, and laboratory features and behaviors of patients. All patients have reported using e-cigarette products. The exact
number is currently unknown, but many patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD.

Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease. Many patients have sought initial care in ambulatory settings, some with several visits, before hospital admission.

Radiologic findings have varied and are not present in all patients upon initial presentation. Bilateral pulmonary infiltrates and diffuse ground-glass opacities have been reported. Many patients required supplemental oxygen, some required assisted ventilation and oxygenation, and some were intubated. Some patients have been treated with corticosteroids with demonstrated improvement. Antimicrobial therapy alone has not consistently been associated with clinical improvement. Assessment for infectious etiologies has been completed in many patients without an identified infectious cause. Several patients from one state have been diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia based on clinical presentation and detection of lipids within bronchoalveolar lavage samples stained specifically to detect oil.

All patients have reported using e-cigarette products and the symptom onset has ranged from a few days to several weeks after e-cigarette use. Within two states, recent inhalation of cannabinoid products, THC or cannabidiol, have been reported in many of the patients. To date, no single substance or e-cigarette product has been consistently associated with illness. CDC is working closely with state health departments to facilitate collecting product specimens for testing at the U.S. FDA Forensic Chemistry Center.

Recommendations for Clinicians

  1. Report cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to your state or local health department. Reporting of cases may help CDC and state health departments determine the cause or causes of these pulmonary illnesses.
  2. Ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness.
  3. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible etiology of a patient’s severe pulmonary disease, obtain detailed history regarding:
    • Substance(s) used: nicotine, cannabinoids (e.g., marijuana, THC, THC concentrates, CBD, CBD oil, synthetic cannabinoids [e.g., K2 or spice], hash oil, Dank vapes), flavors, or other substances
    • Substance source(s): commercially available liquids (i.e., bottles, cartridges, or pods), homemade liquids, and re-use of old cartridges or pods with homemade or commercially bought liquids
    • Device(s) used: manufacturer; brand name; product name; model; serial number of the product, device, or e-liquid; if the device can be customized by the user; and any product modifications by the user (e.g., exposure of the atomizer or heating coil)
    • Where the product(s) were purchased
    • Method of substance use: aerosolization, dabbing, or dripping
    • Other potential cases: sharing e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, or cartridges) with others
  4. Determine if any remaining product, including devices and liquids, are available for testing. Testing can be coordinated with the local or state health departments.
  5. Consider all possible causes of illness in patients reporting respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and of e-cigarette product use. Evaluate and treat for other possible causes of illness (e.g., infectious,
    rheumatologic, neoplastic) as clinically indicated. Consider consultation with specialists (pulmonary, infectious disease, critical care, medical toxicology) as appropriate.
  6. Clinical improvement of patients with severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use has been reported with the use of corticosteroids. The decision to use corticosteroids should be made on a case-by-case basis based on risks and benefits and the likelihood of other etiologies.
  7. Lipoid pneumonia associated with inhalation of lipids in aerosols generated by e-cigarettes has been reported based on the detection of lipid-laden alveolar macrophages obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lipid staining (e.g., oil red O). The decision about whether to perform a BAL should be based on individual clinical circumstances.
  8. Lung biopsies have been performed on some patients. If a lung biopsy is obtained, lipid staining may be considered during pathologic examination, and is best performed on fresh tissue. Routine pathology tissue processing (including formalin-fixation and paraffin-embedding) can remove lipids. Conducting routine tissue processing and histopathologic evaluation is still important. Consider consultation with specialists in pulmonary medicine and pathology to help inform any evaluation plan.
  9. Patients who have received treatment for severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette product use should undergo follow-up evaluation as clinically indicated to monitor pulmonary function.

Recommendations for Public Health Officials

  1. State public health officials should promptly notify CDC about possible cases via
  2. Contact CDC at for case classification criteria, reporting guidelines, case investigation forms, and questions about this outbreak.
  3. Consider conducting case-finding activities that use existing data sources (e.g., local poison control center, coroner and medical examiner’s office, and other applicable surveillance systems including syndromic surveillance). CDC has developed two working syndromic surveillance definitions (one version with specific symptoms and a second focused on e-cigarette product use). CDC will be programming these definitions in CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s BioSense/ESSENCE platform for case-finding within the platform.
  4. Consider asking the medical examiner or coroner’s office and other pathologists to report possible cases, especially those without an alternative, likely diagnosis. If individuals are identified after death or at autopsy who showed signs of severe pulmonary disease as described above, medical examiners and coroners are encouraged to report the cases to their local or state health department. Thorough sampling of trachea, bronchi, and lung parenchyma with collection of fresh lung tissue for staining of lipids (e.g., oil red O) and submission of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues for routine histopathology are recommended. For further consultation, public health officials can contact CDC’s Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch at
  5. State health department officials seeking technical assistance with an epidemiologic investigation can contact CDC at State health department officials seeking technical assistance with laboratory testing can discuss with their state health department laboratories or contact CDC at

Recommendations for the Public

  1. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarette products.
  2. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  3. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. CDC and FDA will continue to advise and alert the public as more information becomes available.
  4. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor.
  5. If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222. 6. We encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal:

For More Information

• For assistance with managing patients suspected of illness related to recreational, illicit, or other drugs, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222.
• Information on electronic cigarettes and similar devices:
• CDC Press Statement:
• CDC Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity announcement:
• CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s BioSense/ESSENCE:
• For more information, visit CDC Info:


Barrington-Trimis JL, Samet JM, McConnell R. Flavorings in electronic cigarettes: an unrecognized respiratory health hazard? JAMA. 2014;312(23):2493-4.

Behar RZ, Davis B, Wang Y, Bahl V, Lin S, Talbot P. Identification of toxicants in cinnamon-flavored electronic cigarette refill fluids. Toxicol In Vitro. 2014;28(2):198-208.

Flower M, Nandakumar L, Singh M, Wyld D, Windsor M, Fielding D. Respiratory bronchiolitis-associated interstitial lung disease secondary to electronic nicotine delivery system use confirmed with open lung biopsy. Respirol Case Rep. 2017;5(3):e00230.

Gerloff J, Sundar IK, Freter R, Sekera ER, Friedman AE, Robinson R, et al. Inflammatory Response and Barrier Dysfunction by Different e-Cigarette Flavoring Chemicals Identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in e-Liquids and e-Vapors on Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts. Appl In Vitro Toxicol. 2017;3(1):28-40.

He T, Oks M, Esposito M, Steinberg H, Makaryus M. “Tree-in-Bloom”: Severe Acute Lung Injury Induced by Vaping Cannabis Oil. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017;14(3):468-70.

Khan MS, Khateeb F, Akhtar J, Khan Z, Lal A, Kholodovych V, et al. Organizing pneumonia related to electronic cigarette use: A case report and review of literature. Clin Respir J. 2018;12(3):1295-9.

Kosmider L, Sobczak A, Prokopowicz A, Kurek J, Zaciera M, Knysak J, et al. Cherry-flavoured electronic cigarettes expose users to the inhalation irritant, benzaldehyde. Thorax. 2016;71(4):376-7.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

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Union County Fights Back Against the Opioid Crisis with Free Narcan Trainings to be Held In Roselle

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ – It’s no secret that Union County is in the midst of an opioid crisis. According to the latest data by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, there have been 267 overdoses and 79 overdose fatalities in Union County. These high numbers of overdoses and fatalities are why establishing Narcan training’s to Roselle and Roselle Park residents and all of Union County is so important, says representatives from Prevention Links and Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Two free Narcan training sessions will be held on Feb 7, and March 7, at  Prevention Links – located at 121 Chestnut St., Roselle. The first 25 People to arrive will receive a free Narcan Kit.

The effectiveness of providing Narcan training and distribution of Narcan kits is shown evident by research published in August of 2018, by the Journal of Public Health, which details how Narcan is the most significant intervention to reduce fatalities from opioid abuse.* Simply put, being trained and having access to Narcan will save the lives of many. This is why these two organizations say it is so important to provide training sessions throughout Union County for everyone.

Narcan deployments and overdose fatalities substantially increase during the winter seasons. while it is not known why these events occur, data from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office shows a correlation between overdoses and the winter season. Due to these events, the Union County Opioid Task Force and Prevention Links have decided to come up with a strategy to reduce the fatalities caused by the opioid epidemic in Union County, which is to provide free Narcan kits & training sessions to many community members in Union County for the winter months of 2019.

This approach can help save the lives of loved ones, friends, neighbors, and community members.

Other training events in Union County for 2019 are as follows:

December 4 – Rahway Recreation Center- 275 E. Milton Ave., Rahway

January 8 – Summit Oaks-19 Prospect St, Summit

January 17 – Cranford Community Center-220 Walnut Ave., Cranford

Jan 29 – Connecticut Farms Church- 888 Stuyvesant Ave, Union

February 1 – St. Joseph’s Social Service Center- 118 Division St. Elizabeth

February 7 – Prevention Links- 121 Chestnut St., Roselle

February 12 – Rahway Recreation Center- 275 E Milton Ave, Rahway,

February 19 – Organization For Recovery- 519 North Ave,

February 21- RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center -2120 Lamberts Mill Rd, Scotch Plains

Feb. 26 – Connecticut Farms Church- 888 Stuyvesant Ave. Union

March 1 – St. Joseph’s Social Service Center- 118 Division St. Elizabeth March 7 – Prevention Links- 121 Chestnut St. Roselle

March 12 – Summit Oaks- 19 Prospect St. Summit.

March 14 – Rahway Recreation Center- 275 E. Milton Ave. Rahway

March 21 – RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center-2120 Lamberts Mill Rd, Scotch Plains

March 27 – Springfield Township- *Location in Progress *

All training sessions are free and the first 25 people to arrive will receive a free Narcan kit. Training sessions begin at 6 p.m. (11 AM for February 1, and March 1, training sessions in Elizabeth.)

No registration is necessary. If you have any questions or concerns contact Sean Foley at

Source: is Roselle’s official electronic news source! To get your free daily Roselle or Roselle Park news, click on your town. 

Roselle’s Prevention Links Holds Annual Drug Prevention Walk

CRANFORD, NJ – #Everyoneknowssomeone was the theme of this year’s Annual Union County Red Ribbon Drug Prevention Walk in Nomahegan Park.

The walk coordinated and hosted by Prevention Links and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders was held this past Saturday with people coming from all over the county to participate.

The walk began at 10 a.m. and was followed by the Red Ribbon Free Family Fun Day, a celebration that featured games, music, pony rides, and more.

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This many organizations all over New Jersey participated in the event.

“We are proud to be here and support this event,” said Helen Quesada,  Coordinator for the Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition. “It’s true, almost everyone knows someone, and that is why we all have to work together to educate as many people as possible so we can stop drug abuse from happening in our communities.”


Roselle Takes to the Streets to Mobilize Around Opioid Abuse

ROSELLE, NJ – As the opioid epidemic ravages New Jersey and the greater United States, reducing overdoses, drug-related crime and overall harm caused by opioids starts with small communities, where the impact of addiction hits hardest. The Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition’s (REHPC) participation in the statewide “Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day,” now in its third year, is one such initiative that boroughs and townships across NJ hope will quell the scourge of drug abuse.

REHPC, an organization aiming to inform, connect and bring awareness about drug abuse to Roselle, works with the state to maintain a prevention-focused infrastructure that addresses the rising toll of drug abuse. Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau, Department of Children and Families Coordinator Hellen Quesada and Matt Birchenough, media coordinator for Drug-Free New Jersey, lead about a dozen Abraham Clark High School students throughout the borough to disseminate literature and raise awareness about opioids.

“I don’t have a personal experience with opioid abuse, but my soccer coach has talked about past players who were affected and got really messed up in the long run,” said 16-year-old Darren Newell. “This is a great way to help out the community and let people know what they’re getting their hands into if they choose to use opioids.”

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In 2016, opioid-related deaths in NJ spiked to 16 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse — 20.3 percent more than the national average. NJ Cares, a real-time dashboard of opioid-related data and information under the Department of Law and Public Safety, estimates 95 suspected overdose deaths in Union County alone in 2018, as well as 528 administrations of the overdose-reversing medication Nalaxone.

“Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day,” organized by the Partnership for A Drug-Free New Jersey and the Community Coalition for a Safe & Health Morris, takes place every October 6 in cooperation with the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The state’s prevention and treatment communities, local leaders and concerned citizens mobilize to educate the public about the link between prescription medications and illegal opioids.

“I was really impressed by the number of students and people mobilizing around this issue in Roselle. It’s not the easiest thing getting teenagers to do something like this on a Saturday morning,” Birchenough said. “This is an issue that affects people across all age groups, races and income levels — it’s important that local communities get involved and spread awareness about the dangers of these drugs.”

Roselle is one of the fortunate New Jersey municipalities that receives $125,000 a year in funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration until 2021, according to Dansereau. It uses the grant to strengthen REHPC, encourage community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance use and implement environmental strategies aimed at the reduction of marijuana and opioid use.

“This has been an ongoing journey — Roselle has always been about educating to make sure our community is as healthy as possible and aware of the dangers of any kind of addictive drug,” Dansereau added, “I’ve spoken to many people as mayor who have shared with me what a challenging journey it has been to find support in order to go into recovery. We need a lot more help for people that are already addicted, and part of that is prevention. No one sets out to become an addict.” is Roselle’s official electronic news source! To get your free daily Roselle or Roselle Park news, click on your town. 

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Hidden in Plain Sight

Join us on February 22, 2018 at St. Joseph the Carpenter School, 140 3rd Ave., for “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a program of the Drug Enforcement Administration presented in collaboration with Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition and Prevention links. This event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

This exhibit and presentation is centered around a teenager’s bedroom that is displayed to allow parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and other adults an opportunity to explore a teenager’s bedroom to see and identify drug paraphernalia, hiding places and other signs that may indicate alcohol or other drug use by a teen.

Click here for additional information

TAPinto Roselle

TAPinto Roselle is the communities local online news. The site is owned by Publisher Kathy Lloyd who has lived in Roselle for over 24 years and is very involved in the community. Ms. Lloyd owns a her own non profit Roselle 24/7, dedicated to providing outreach and information to the residents of Roselle. She was also chosen as one of Union Counties “Woman of Excellence” in Media.

Ms. Lloyd is Media Sector Representative for REHPC. She is currently working with the parents and the youth coalitions to create marketing movements like…


The mission of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally.  This is accomplished by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, training and special events.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.