On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported fourth death linked to e-cigarette and vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).
Chief Medical Executive of MDHHS, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said, “Although reports of new cases related to this outbreak have decreased in Michigan and across the country, new cases continue to be reported.”
Dr. Khaldun, who is also the chief deputy for health for MDHHS, added, “We urge Michigan residents to refrain from vaping until a definite source or sources have been identified. Health care providers should remain vigilant in educating their patients about the potential risks associated with vaping and report any cases to their local health department.”
Experts said that 73 confirmed and probable EVALI cases have been reported in the state since August 2019. Every case has been reported in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, while most of them have been hospitalized for severe lung illness.
As of February 4, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,758 cases in 50 states, which includes 64 deaths in 28 states,
The CDC has said that e-cig or vaping products containing vitamin E acetate have been strongly associated with EVALI.
Vitamin E acetate is often used as an additive in vaping products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to the officials.
While it has been found that vitamin E acetate is associated with many EVALI cases, the CDC has been investigating many other different substances and product sources. Therefore, the CDC advises people to stay away from all sorts of e-cigarettes or vaping products.
Vaping or e-cigarette users are advised to immediately seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as cough, fever, breathlessness, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting.
The MDHHS has set a few recommendations to combat the ongoing vaping epidemic.
The officials said vaping products should not be used youth, young adults, or pregnant women. People who do not use tobacco products should never start using vaping products.
Adults who use e-cigarettes as an alternative to conventional cigarettes should not go back to smoking. They can get more information by seeking expert advice or consider using FDA-approved cessation medications.
People can contact their medical provider if they want to quit tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes. Please note that the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes or vaping products as a smoking cessation device.