Tobacco-Free Living

Vaping: E-cigarettes & Personal Vaporizers

Last Updated: December 13, 2019
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PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT:

Serious and Life-Threatening National Outbreak of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)External Link

13 December 2019 - Confirmed cases and deaths associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, continue to increase.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. Click here to learn more.External Link
Until we know more, everyone is encouraged to not use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain CBD or THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers. CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it. Additionally, people should not add any substances not intended by the manufacturer to products, including products purchases through retail establishments.

Those who do use these products should:
  • Not buy e-cigarette or vaping products off the street, and not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Seek prompt medical care if they experience symptoms including: coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; or fatigue, fever or weight loss.

Over two thousand EVALI cases have been reported across multiple states. Over 50 people have died from the injury. All of the patients reported recent use of e-cigarette products, and many stated using devices containing cannabinoid products such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD). Symptoms of the injury appear over the course of a few days to several weeks and include difficulty breathing, coughing, shortness of breath and/or chest pain. Some individuals also reported mild to moderate vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. 

While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI.  Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation, and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak.


Download ALARACT 086/2019 SEVERE LUNG INJURY ASSOCIATED WITH E-CIGARETTE USE (12Dec2019)External Link
Download the Army's Public Health Alert - Severe Lung Illness Associated with E-Cigarette Use (11Sep19)External Link
Download the Army's Public Health Alert (Update 1) - Severe Lung Illness Associated with E-Cigarette Use (17Sep19)External Link
Track the current outbreak of lung injury (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)External Link 
Information and Resources for Healthcare Providers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)External Link




General Information:

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in this article refers to all types of personal vaporizers, vape pens, and vape mods. They can contain just as much or even more nicotine than tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarette cartridges (e-liquids) or oils may also contain harmful products and are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a smoking-cessation aid.

E-cigarettes

Key Points about E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping

  • If you have never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, do not start.
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
  • While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.
  • Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street, and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Users of e-cigarettes and/or vaporizer pens must ensure that the products they purchase do not contain Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or synthetic cannabinoids (more info).
  • Additional research can help understand long-term health effects.
  • E-cigarettes are considered by the Army to be in the same category as tobacco products and may not be utilized in any government building.