State Eyeing Possible Link Between Vaping, Lung Disease In Teens | KERA News

State Eyeing Possible Link Between Vaping, Lung Disease In Teens

Aug 22, 2019

The state health department is investigating a potential connection between recent cases of lung disease in Texas teens and e-cigarette use.

State health officials say they learned last week of cases of lung disease in Texas adolescents.

The Department of State Health Services is urging doctors in Texas to ask patients with respiratory problems -- like cough, shortness of breath and fatigue -- about their e-cigarette use. Officials are urging clinicians who identify cases to gather information about the products used and ask patients to save the vaping liquid in case it’s needed for testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 94 cases of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarette use -- or vaping -- were reported in several states this summer. Most involved adolescents and young adults. All patients tested negative for infectious diseases, and some have required hospitalization. In addition to respiratory symptoms, some patients experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Texas health officials are working with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate links in the cases. More information is needed to determine a cause, and state officials are working with the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and other states to gather evidence about what the cases have in common and what is leading to the injuries.

Most e-cigs contain nicotine -- the chemical that makes traditional cigarettes addictive. Texas health officials say vaping can impair brain development in teens and young adults.