OSDH: 4 Oklahomans reported with severe E-cigarette lung injuries

The CEO of e-cigarette maker Juul announced plans Tuesday to eliminate some of its social media accounts and halt most retail sales of flavor products as part of a plan to restrict access to minors.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Health says four Oklahomans have now been reported to have a severe lung injury related to E-cigarette or vape use.

Of the four patients, one is under the age of 18, two are 18 to 34 years of age, and one is 35 years of age or older.

Two people from Oklahoma County, one person from northeast Oklahoma (the county is unknown at this time), and one person from Tulsa County are reported with vaping-related lung injuries.

The first case in Oklahoma was an underaged patient from Tulsa.

Symptoms have resulted in hospitalizations lasting from days to weeks, with some patients admitted to intensive care units.

According to the health department, symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, cough, chest pain, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A lung infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms. Therefore, the suspected cause is chemical exposure.

“What we’re advising is for people to just consider refraining from use of E-Cigarette and vaping at this time,” Burnsed said. “Because it’s undetermined at this time, exactly which ingredient or class of ingredients might be causing these severe lung injuries, were advising just to refrain from using e-cigarette and vaping products.”

Officials also warn if you don’t take that advice, to stay away from buying products off the street.

As of October 1, 2019, there have been 1,080 cases of lung injury reported from 48 states and 1 U.S. territory. 18 deaths have been confirmed in 15 states. Oklahoma is not one of the states with fatalities.

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