Iowa Exploring Potential Link Between Lung Disease and Vaping

By Ellis Codjoe, August 19, 2019

The medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed that Iowa is one of the states that is investigating possible cases of lung disease and illnesses linked to vaping.

Dr. Caitlin Pedati, also the state epidemiologist, says there are 15 states with around 120 cases under watch.

“While we didn’t initially have any cases, we did share a message with our health care and public health providers through our website,” Dr. Pedati said to Radio Iowa. “It was after that that we were notified of a potential case. We are still investigating this case so I don’t have any additional information for you at this time but we do have one under investigation.”

Pedati did not provide any additional details to the case such as the person’s name, age, or type of illness. Pedati notes that vaping was introduced as a way to help smokers quit, so it would be unfortunate if vaping turned out to pose a serious health risk as well.

Individuals purchasing vaping products must be 18 in the state of Iowa. Pedati would not comment on whether the age that age should be raised or additional taxing be levied on vaping products to discourage its use among youth.

“We never want our teenagers, our young people to be using any vaping products,” Pedati says. “We’re really discouraging that across the board. In the meantime, we’re also asking our public health and health care providers to be on the lookout for cases like this and to contact Public Health when they think they may’ve found one.”

According to a CNN story, health officials in multiple states says it’s unclear whether there’s a connection between the cases or if vaping definitively caused these illnesses. Several people were hospitalized.

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