SAN ANTONIO - There are two confirmed cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in Bexar County, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District said Friday.
Metro Health officials also strongly recommended residents discontinue the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
The recommendation comes on the heels of six deaths and over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with e-cigarette use reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention across 33 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a news release, 29 cases are under investigation in the U.S., including 12 in Texas.
The CDC and The American Lung Association have expressed concern about the outbreak of lung illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarettes. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes deliver an aerosol to the user by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and/or other chemicals. All reported cases have indicated the use of e-cigarette products, and some patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products, such as THC.
"It is important that parents are aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes and speak to their teens about the risks associated with vaping," Metro Health interim Director Jennifer Herriott said. "We urge the community to be vigilant about vaping products that they or family members are using. If you or someone you know vapes and develops even minor problems with breathing or feeling ill, it is important to seek medical attention immediately."
The San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness will be sharing information with prevention specialists in schools. Metro Health also advises teachers and school district personnel to continue informing students of the dangers of illness that can be linked to e-cigarette use.
Some recommendations issued by the CDC include:
- Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
- Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
- Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
- If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
- You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
- Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and Food and Drug Administration-approved medications. If you need help to quit tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or other medical provider.
Local health care providers are asked to report suspected cases of vaping-related illnesses to Metro Health at 210-207-8876.
If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
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