What to Know
- Delaware health officials are investigating three possible cases of severe lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes.
- The CDC says there have been hundreds of possible cases of lung disease related to vaping reported in 33 states. Some people have died.
- A group of Delaware lawmakers are making the push to ban e-cigarettes statewide by possibly drafting legislation.
Delaware health officials are investigating three possible cases of severe lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping as lawmakers in the state consider banning flavored e-cigarette products.
The state health department is urging residents to stop vaping as cases of lung disease possibly linked to e-cigarettes pop up across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 450 possible cases of lung disease related to vaping reported in 33 states. A handful of cases have ended in death.
"The rising number of lung illnesses across the country that are associated with the use of e-cigarette products is incredibly alarming," DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said. "We strongly encourage individuals, especially youth, to avoid using e-cigarette products. I cannot stress this point strongly enough - these illnesses can be life-threatening."
The agency says no evidence of infectious diseases have been identified, meaning the illnesses are likely associated with chemical exposure. It says no specific substance or product has been linked to all cases, though many cases involve people who reported vaping THC, marijuana's high-inducing chemical.
A group of lawmakers is also looking to ban flavored e-cigarette juices statewide. The legislation would be co-sponsored by Democratic State Reps. Debra Heffernan, Melissa Minor-Brown and Krista Griffith.
Minor-Brown is especially concerned about the health impacts flavored e-cigs could be having on children, besides the vaping concerns raised by the CDC.
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“The people that are dealing with these serious health problems, the one thing that is related is they all have vaped," Minor-Brown told Delaware Public Media. "So it’s pretty obvious this is what’s causing the issue."