CDC says states no longer have to track lung-related injuries caused by e-cigarettes

Video: CDC says states no longer have to track lung-related injuries caused by e-cigarettes

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said states no longer have to track lung-related injuries caused by e-cigarettes, partly because cases have dropped.

The CDC said it stopped requiring states to report the numbers in February after it pinpointed vitamin E acetate as the culprit in e-cigarettes making people sick.

In 2019, the number of lung-related injuries caused by e-cigarettes was on the rise nationwide.

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According to the Florida Department of Health, 110 cases known as EVALI were recorded in the state and two people died in 2019.

So far in 2020, there have been nine cases and no deaths.

“I think there’s a lot more knowledge around the fact that a lot of these exposures happened from THC cartridges or cartridges doctored up so to speak or ones that had vitamin E acetate oil in them,” a doctor said. “There have been some legislative changes and law enforcement support of those changes to where certain types of vaping or e-cig cartridges have been changed.”

Orlando Health emergency physician Dr. Josef Thundiyil said because the CDC no longer requires states to report the number of vaping-related illnesses, it doesn’t mean cases of EVALI aren’t being recorded.

“For example, the poison control system. Anybody who gets very sick would likely call or the physician taking care of them might report it to poison control. They might report it to the Department of Health, the CDC,” he said.

Doctors said coronavirus could also be overshadowing the potential number of EVALI cases.

“The symptoms can be very similar. There can be upper respiratory type symptoms that can mimic it,” a doctor said.

The CDC said it is monitoring EVALI cases and hasn’t seen an uptick nationwide.

It said it will continue to provide assistance to states as needed.