The Bulletin

Virginia Department of Health issues warning on vaping illness

By: - August 26, 2019 2:05 pm

Lindsay Fox. CCO Creative Commons via Pixabay.

Three cases of a severe lung illness associated with vaping have been reported in Virginia, the state Health Department reported Monday in a warning about the risks of e-cigarettes.

As of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had identified 193 potential cases of the vaping-related lung illness in 22 states.

“Symptoms of this illness have included gradual onset of cough, shortness of breath or fatigue that gets worse over a period of days or weeks, until the patient has to be admitted to the hospital for treatment,” the state Health Department said in a news release. “Some patients have also reported vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.”

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among American middle and high school students, the health department said, with the number using vaping products increasing by 1.5 million nationwide between 2017 and 2018.

This year, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation, signed by Gov. Ralph Northam, that raised the age to buy tobacco or nicotine vapor products from 18 to 21, largely driven by concern about the number of teenagers vaping.

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Robert Zullo
Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]