Tobacco Research Programs News

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 11:00am

Alert to Current Vaping Health Concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several states, and federal health departments are investigating a multi-state outbreak of severe lung disease associated with using e-cigarette/vaping products. The investigation is ongoing and has not identified a cause, but all cases have reported use of vaping devices. The majority of patients have reported vaping cannabis oil, such as THC, obtained on the black market or other sources. In addition, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements, but data are limited about its effects after inhalation.

The FDA has advised consumers to protect themselves by not using vaping products of any kind obtained off the street and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substance to vaping products purchased at stores. 

To date, the investigation has not identified any single substance or e-cigarette product that has been consistently associated with illness. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about the health risks, consider not using e-cigarette products.

If you continue to use vaping device/e-cigarette products, you should watch for unexpected symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, weight loss) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns. The FDA also encourages you to report this information, including providing any associated product, to your state or local health departments. Reporting to your state or health departments is crucial as federal and state partners work together to have accurate case identification and reported case counts. For more information regarding state and local health department directories, please refer to:

You can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.


For additional information, please visit the following websites:

CDC: Outbreak of Lung Illness Associated with Using E-cigarette Products

FDA: Lung Illnesses Associated with Use of Vaping Products


Visit the Tobacco Research Programs at the UMN Farmer's Market

Come visit our friendly TRP staff members at the UMN farmer's market tomorrow 9/18 from 11-2 and learn more about the important work we do and how you can contribute!


U of M Expert: Vaping's Possible Connection to Lung Disease

Dr. Irina Stepanov from the Tobacco Research Programs discusses the recent reports of vaping-related lung diseases. Check out the report here: TRP Vaping News 


Heated Tobacco Devices--What Are They & How Do They Work

Check out this Q&A with Dr. Irina Stepanov from the Tobacco Research Programs!