E-Cigarettes and Vaping Could Be Cause For Respiratory Illness

E-Cigarettes and Vaping Could Be Cause For Respiratory Illness

On September 4, 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to issue emergency rules banning the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in retail stores and online, and banning misleading marketing of vaping products.

“As governor, my number one priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “And right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe. That ends today. Our kids deserve leaders who are going to fight to protect them. These bold steps will finally put an end to these irresponsible and deceptive practices and protect Michiganders’ public health.”

Terms like “clean,” “safe,” and “healthy” that mislead beliefs that these products are harmless, are now banned. The governor also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to enforce an existing statute to prohibit the advertising of vapor products on billboards.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praised the Governor's actions made today.

"With a more than 1.5 million increase in the number of students using vaping products in just one year, the governor's emergency actions today are exactly the bold measures we must take to protect Michigan's children from the dangerous effects of vaping," Nessel said.

These actions made by the Governor makes Michigan the first state in the nation to ban flavored nicotine vaping products.

As of August 27, 2019, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is reviewing six cases of e-cigarette and vaping respiratory illnesses, all of which were diagnoses in the last 60 days.

All cases have been reported in the Lower Peninsula and most of the individuals whose ages range from 19-39, have been hospitalized for severe respiratory illness.

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we want Michiganders to be aware using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said Sarah Lyon-Callo, MDHHS state epidemiologist. “E-cigarettes/vaping products can contain harmful chemicals that can result in damage to a user’s lungs, heart or other body systems.”

E-cigarette and/or vaping users should immediately seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever and/or nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may occur long after use of a device.

The Michigan investigation has not yet identified a specific brand of device or e-liquid that could be causing these illnesses. Similar to reports across the nation, there does not appear to be an infectious cause of the illnesses.

MDHHS is working closely with state and federal partners during this national outbreak investigation. Physicians caring for patients with pulmonary illnesses that have a history of e-cigarette and/or vaping use should immediately report these cases to their local health department.

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