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Health officials confirm probable case of severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping in Lake County

Posted at 9:30 AM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 09:30:04-05

CLEVELAND — Health officials in Lake County have confirmed one probable case of severe pulmonary illness linked to vaping in a male in Lake County, according to a release from the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD).

As of Nov. 26., there have been 68 confirmed cases in Ohio of individuals reported having severe pulmonary illness following vaping. An additional 28 reports are under investigation, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Pulmonary illness associated with vaping include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and weight loss.

“Per ODH, vaping is not safe. E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as an aid to quit smoking, and available science does not currently confirm that e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking," according to Tara Perkins, Director of Nursing at Lake County General Health District.

Health officials say e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe in contain harmful substances, including:

• Cancer-causing chemicals
• Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead
• Volatile organic compounds, which can adversely impact health
• Ultrafine particles that can reach deep into the lungs
• Chemical flavorings that are linked to serious lung disease

LCGHD offers one-on-one smoking cessation counseling services with certified tobacco specialists. Those interested in a session can meet with a counselor for an initial appointment that lasts around 45 minutes. Contact Shaelin Hurley at (440) 350-2464 for more information.

If users are under 18 and need help to quit vaping or using tobacco, they can use the free My Life My Quit program by calling 1-855-891-9989 to enroll.