CDPH Health Update: Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Injury

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an updated health alert on August 27, 2019 regarding 36 cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI) requiring hospitalization across California. 

These cases have been identified since June 2019. While the exact cause of illness is not yet known, most cases involve vaping the cannabis compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD), with some reports involving vaping nicotine products. 

At this time, no infectious etiology has been determined and over 200 similar cases are being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in at least 23 other states.

The CDPH alert contains details on the cases reported in California, background information on vaping, and an updated case definition. 

CDPH asks that clinicians be alert for suspected cases presenting with respiratory complaints in both outpatient and inpatient settings in the context of recent use of vaping or "dabbing" devices, and an initial diagnosis of pneumonia or bronchitis that did not respond to antibiotics.

If cases occur locally, clinicians are asked to:

  • Collect and hold the original product and/or devices if the patient has on hand so that the product and device can be tested.
  • Report the case by phone to the applicable local health department.



The local health department will report the case to CDPH and, if needed, interview patients and/or family members, arrange the transfer of available biospecimens, and collect available vaping products and/or devices. 

County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health: 1.626.299.3504
Long Beach Health and Human Services: 1.562.570.4302
Pasadena Public Health Department: 1.626.744.6089

View the full CDPH communication at LAHAN.