The Georgia Department of Public Health is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in issuing a public health advisory on the risks of vaping and the use of e-cigarettes following Georgia’s second vaping-associated death.
“The increasing numbers of vaping-associated lung injury and death are clear indications of the need for people to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations and not vape,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. “The Georgia Department of Public Health is working closely with Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Education to provide education and awareness about the imminent health risks of vaping and e-cigarette use, especially among adolescents.”
In September, CDC officials urged people to stop vaping after officials said they had identified 450 possible illnesses, including at least three deaths, in 33 states linked to e-cigarette products.
More research into possible illness linked to vaping is being conducted at the CDC in DeKalb County now.
“The focus of the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration’s investigation on pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes is narrowing, but we are still faced with complex questions in this outbreak. Reports released (Friday) are a step toward finding more answers,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
In a series of tweets Redfield added, “Patients with lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products reported similar symptoms, displayed similar clinical presentations and findings, and all reported using e-cigarette products in the 90 days prior to developing symptoms. Many patients with lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products reported recent use of THC-containing products, and some reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products. A smaller group reported using only nicotine.”
No definitive cause has been established and no specific e-cigarette device or substance has been linked to all cases of pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes, stated Redfield.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has stepped up in support of the public health advisory. “I applaud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Department of Public Health for their tireless work to conduct research and inform the public about this serious issue. This public health advisory will notify Georgians of the potential hazards associated with adolescent vaping and encourage youth to take proactive steps to safeguard their health and well-being. We are asking convenience stores, vape shops, and leaders in communities throughout Georgia to join us in raising awareness,” he said.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said in a news release on Oct. 9 that second person in Georgia died after being hospitalized for lung injury and had a history of nicotine vaping. No other details were given.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.