Health Officials Report Vaping Related Illness In King County

Sep 11, 2019

Washington state Health Officer Kathy Lofy speaks at a press conference in Seattle on Wednesday as King County Health Officer Jeff Duchin watches.
Credit Public Health Seattle and King County

Washington state and King County health officials say the state has recently recorded the first case of a person contracting a severe lung disease due to vaping.

King County health officer Jeff Duchin told reporters today [Wednesday] a young man in his late teens suffered acute respiratory failure while vaping in August.

Duchin says the teen reported using a nicotine product and saffron. He spent several days in the hospital, but has since been released.

Washington state health officer Kathy Lofy says, given the cases reported in other states, public health officials here have been watching closely for vaping-related illnesses.

Duchin says the cause of the illnesses in other states hasn’t been officially determined, but all had vaping as a common factor, leading him to issue this warning.

“People should all know and understand that e-cigarettes and vaping are not safe. Everyone should be aware of the risk for severe lung disease and avoid using e-cigarettes and avoid vaping at this time until the cause of the outbreak is known," Duchin said. "Youth, young adults and pregnant women should never use e-cigarettes or vape.”

And if you must vape, he warns users not to use the devices to ingest marijuana or to add any substances that weren’t meant to be ingested while vaping.