Utah Public Health Officials Investigating Cases of Lung Disease

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is working with local health departments and healthcare providers to investigate the recent hospitalizations of five individuals who experienced serious breathing problems and reported recent vaping or other inhalational drugs. The patients experienced shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and cough. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. All patients were hospitalized, with some needing assistance to breathe. While patients have improved with treatment, it is unknown whether there will be long-term health effects.

These cases are similar to cases reported nationally in other states such as Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. The UDOH will continue to work with national partners, local health departments, and clinicians to try to identify the cause of these severe illnesses. Individuals who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping should seek immediate medical attention. Health care providers treating patients with unexpected serious respiratory illness should ask about a history of recent vaping and are encouraged to report suspect cases to the UDOH or local health departments.

Information about e-cigarettes and vapes can be found on the UDOH website at https://waytoquit.org/tobacconicotine-products/. For information about how you can help yourself or a loved one quit tobacco, including e-cigarettes, please visit waytoquit.org, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Way to Quit provides information, as well as a number of resources that can put you, or a loved one on the path to a successful quit attempt. In addition to e-coaching, live chats, educational materials, and text message or email reminders, Way to Quit provides free nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum and patches, to those who qualify.

Media Contact:

Rebecca Ward

(o): 801-538-6682

(c): 801-352-1270