MDHHS investigates rising trend of e-cigarette/vaping-associated respiratory illness
E-cigarette, vaping users urged to seek medical attention if they feel ill


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is currently investigating reports of e-cigarette/vaping-associated respiratory illnesses. As of Aug. 27, MDHHS is reviewing six cases; all diagnosed in the last 60 days.

E-cigarette and/or vaping users should immediately seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever and/or nausea and vomiting. Symptoms may occur long after use of a device.

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we want Michiganders to be aware using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said Sarah Lyon-Callo, MDHHS state epidemiologist. “E-cigarettes/vaping products can contain harmful chemicals that can result in damage to a user’s lungs, heart or other body systems.”

All cases have been reported in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and most of the individuals have been hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. The age range of the cases is 19-39. As of Aug. 23, 203 possible cases of severe respiratory disease associated with e-cigarette use have been reported in 23 states.

So far, the Michigan investigation has not identified a specific brand of device or e-liquid that is causing these illnesses. Similar to reports across the nation, there does not appear to be an infectious cause of the illnesses.

MDHHS is working closely with state and federal partners during this national outbreak investigation. Physicians caring for patients with pulmonary illnesses that have a history of e-cigarette and/or vaping use should immediately report these cases to their local health department. 

# # #