State investigating four Stamford cases of vaping-related lung injuries
STAMFORD — The state’s health department is currently looking into 31 cases of lung injuries related to vaping, including four instances involving Stamford residents.
Fairfield County leads the state in the number of such injuries, with 16 cases. Eight New Haven County residents also suffered such injuries.
All of the cases of lung injuries related to vaping involve residents from 16 to 63 years old, with the majority requiring hospitalization.
The Stamford Department of Health issued a press release Thursday urging people who use e-cigarettes or other vaping products and who develop respiratory, gastrointestinal, or other symptoms to see their healthcare provider.
Symptoms among the cases include shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Other symptoms reported by some patients included headache, weight loss and chest pain.
According to the release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet identified the chemical or chemicals responsible for the rash of vaping-related lung injuries, and there is not enough information to determine the long-term effects of such chemicals on the body or lungs.
Cases of lung injuries in Stamford and Connecticut are similar to reports around the country involving e-cigarettes containing THC exclusively, a combination of nicotine and THC, or just nicotine, that have caused similar symptoms. However, the CDC found that the vast majority of lung injuries due to vaping come from cartridges that contain THC, which is the principal psychoactive component of cannabis.
As of Oct. 8, the CDC reported 1,299 cases of vaping-related lung injury from 49 states and one U.S. territory. The CDC also reported 26 deaths had been confirmed in 21 states, including one in Connecticut.
“I am very concerned that we continue to see new cases of vaping-related lung injury and this outbreak of illnesses and deaths appears to be far from over,” said Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell, commissioner of the state health department, in a press release. “I am asking Connecticut residents not to use e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC.”
The local Stamford health department recommended adhering to the CDC’s guidelines related to vaping, which includes avoiding e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC, not buying any type of e-cigarette off the street, and not modifying or adding any substances to vaping products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
The CDC also recommends not using e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.