CONTACT: Michelle Vigil
Office: (210) 207-8172
SAN ANTONIO (September 13, 2019) – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is strongly recommending that residents discontinue the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. There have been six deaths and over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with using e-cigarettes reported to the CDC across 33 states and the US Virgin Islands. Though there have been 17 cases and an additional 12 cases under investigation in Texas, as of today we do not have any confirmed illnesses or deaths reported in Bexar County.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The American Lung Association (ALA) have both expressed their concern about the outbreak of lung illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarettes. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes deliver an aerosol to the user by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and/or other chemicals. To date all reported cases have indicated the use of e-cigarette products and some patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products, such as THC.
“Metro Health will continue to educate the public by sharing information with the media and residents. It is important that parents are aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes and speak to their teens about the risks associated with vaping. We urge the community to be vigilant about vaping products that they or family members are using. If you or someone you know vapes and develops even minor problems with breathing, or feeling ill, it is important to seek medical attention immediately” said Jennifer Herriott, Interim Director of Metro Health.
The San Antonio Council on Alcohol & Drug Awareness (SACADA) will be sharing information with prevention specialists in schools. Metro Health also advises teachers and school district personnel to continue informing students of the dangers of illness that can be linked to e-cigarette use.
Some recommendations issued by the CDC include:
- 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 need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or other medical provider.
Local Healthcare Providers are asked to report suspected cases to Metro Health at (210) 207-8876. If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. For more resources and information visit www.cdc.gov/tobacco or www.sanantonio.gov/health