Lung injury cases from E-Cigarettes and vape pens continue

Photo Credit: Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

As of December 10, 2019, cases of vaping associated lung injury are up to 2,409, with 31 hospitalizations and 7 deaths.

The following is a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Colorado has an unusually high rate of teen and young adult nicotine vaping. Colorado clinicians, school-based health centers, campus health centers, parents, and people who vape should be aware that this outbreak is occurring and be on the lookout for symptoms.


Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Possible fever


People who vape and currently have a lung illness or may have had one in the past three months should contact their doctor or local health department. Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. The agents causing this illness could possibly be pesticide contamination, residual solvent contamination, additives with unknown inhalation effects, or heavy metals contamination inhaled from vaping products.


Health care providers, school-based health centers, and campus health centers should:

  • Screen all youth, parents, and caregivers for e-cigarette use and exposure.
  • Counsel children and adolescents about the harms of e-cigarette use and clearly communicate the importance of never using e-cigarettes or other nicotine products.
  • Report suspected cases to CDPHE’s Disease Reporting Line: 303-692-2700 or 303-370-9395 (after hours). This includes potential cases who presented since June 1, 2019. CDPHE personnel will conduct a medical record review and contact the patients to administer a thorough investigation questionnaire.


Parents should:

  • Talk with your kids about the risks of using e-cigarettes. Get the facts for your conversations at
  • Set a smoke and vapor free rule for your home and car.
  • Be aware that although vapor products may have the potential to benefit adult smokers who switch completely from cigarettes to vapor products, they are not safe for teens to use. Parents who choose to quit vaping or using any other tobacco product can access free support through the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or

Youth and young adults who vape should:

  • Be aware that this illness is occurring and be on the lookout for symptoms.
  • If you have symptoms of lung illness or may have had symptoms in the past three months, contact your doctor or local health department.
  • Learn more about free resources available to help you quit all tobacco products at or 1800-QUITNOW.


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