CDPH Health Advisory: Vaping Related Lung Illness

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued another health advisory on September 24, 2019 regarding vaping-associated health risks. 

Vaping Related Lung Illness: A Summary of the Public Health Risks and Recommendations for the Public


This health advisory seeks to inform the public about the imminent public health risks posed by vaping any product, including the use of electronic cigarettes (e‐cigarettes), as vaping has recently been linked to severe breathing problems, lung damage, and even death.

Vaping is inhaling aerosol from an e-cigarette or other vaping device that heats a liquid that can contain nicotine, marijuana (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) or other substances.

The shapes and sizes of these devices vary and include colorful vape pens, modified tank systems, and new pod-based devices that can look like USB flash drives, cell phones, credit card holders, and highlighters. These devices are frequently referred to as e-cigarettes, e‐cigs, vapes, vape pens, electronic vaporizers, pod mods, or pod systems.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges everyone to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, until current investigations are complete.

Since June 2019, CDPH has received reports that 100 people in California who have a history of vaping were hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage, and two people have died. Across the U.S., there are over 500 reports of lung damage associated with vaping across 38 states and 1 U.S. territory, and more reports are coming in nearly every day.

CDPH, along with other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local health departments, and healthcare providers are working hard to investigate what is in the vape materials that is making people sick.

Although CDPH regulates manufacturers of cannabis vaping products to ensure they are as safe as possible for those who choose to vape, CDPH warns that individuals put themselves at risk any time they inhale a foreign substance into their lungs. The risk of vaping now includes death. CDC continues to warn that any tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, especially for youth, pregnant, and breastfeeding women.

View the full Vaping Health Advisory at the California Department of Public Health.

You can also review the August 30, 2019 CDC vaping health advisory at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Recommendations for the Public

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  1. CDPH urges everyone to quit vaping altogether, no matter the substance or source. For those who continue, you are urged to avoid buying any vaping products on the street and never modify a store-bought vape product. 

  2. If you, or your child, have vaped at all in the past few months and are having new problems with breathing or other symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately and tell your healthcare provider about your history of vaping.

  3. If you decide to stop vaping, do not replace vaping with smoking combustible cigarettes. Ask your doctor for FDA-approved quitting treatments.