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Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Illness Outbreak

As of September 13, 2019, 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to CDC from 36 states and one territory. Six deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon. No cases have been reported in Alaska. The previous case count was higher because it reported possible cases that were under investigation by states. The current number includes only confirmed and probable cases reported by states to CDC after classification.

State and federal agencies are actively working to identify the cause of the outbreak. Since no single product or substance has been linked to all of the cases in this outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to consider not using e-cigarettes while this investigation is ongoing. This is particularly important for those e-cigarette products purchased from sources other than authorized retailers and products modified in a manner not intended by the manufacturer. If you do use e-cigarette products and you experience symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, seek medical care promptly.

The CDC also recommends the following, regardless of the ongoing investigation:

  • Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
  • If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
  • You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications.
  • If you are an adult who used e-cigarettes containing nicotine to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes.

If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor, other medical provider, or Alaska's Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, you can also call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Health care providers should report cases of respiratory illness of unclear etiology among persons with a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology at (907) 269-8000 or 800-478-0084 (after hours).


For more information about this outbreak, please see the following resources:

For general information about e-cigarettes and vaping, please see the following resources: