Clark County – Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has confirmed the first severe pulmonary illness related to vaping in Clark County. Ohio now has 75 confirmed cases as of December 3. The average age for these cases is 24 years old and 92% have resulted in hospitalization. There have been no deaths reported in Ohio.
The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) is issuing a health alert to healthcare providers asking them to report all suspected cases of serious pulmonary illness where the cause is unclear with a history of vaping to local or state health officials for investigation.
As of November 20, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 2,290 cases of vaping related pulmonary illness have been reported to CDC from 49 states. The CDC will update these numbers on December 5. The CDC recommends that people:
Should not use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC.
Should not buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products off the street – particularly those containing THC.
Should not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
The CDC also recommends that adults using e-cigarettes to quit smoking should not go back to smoking but they should monitor themselves for symptoms and see a healthcare provider immediately if they develop symptoms of pulmonary illness. Symptoms include:
Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
Fever, chills or weight loss
The only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products. If someone is considering quitting tobacco or e-cigarettes, there are resources available:
-My Life, My Quit is a free & confidential service for teens under 18 who want help quitting all forms of tobacco, including vaping. Teens will participate in five one-on-one coaching sessions, where a coach helps teens develop a quit plan, identify triggers, practice refusal skills and receive ongoing support for changing behaviors. This program is available via phone calls, text messaging, or online chat. More information is available at mylifemyquit.com
-If you know a pregnant woman who needs help quitting tobacco, they can enroll in the Baby and Me Tobacco Free program through CCCHD. Mothers (and partners) who stay smoke free after the baby is born can receive monthly vouchers for free diapers for up to 12 months. Call Natalie at 937-322-2099 for more information.
-Another option for help kicking tobacco is Ohio’s Tobacco Quitline. All Ohioans are now eligible for this free service. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for personalized quit coaching and free nicotine replacement therapy after your first four sessions.
-Mercy REACH provides a six week, in-person cessation program. For additional information or to register for the program, contact Marcy Ivory at (937) 390-5333.