Connecticut’s commissioner of public health is now urging consumers not to use any e-cigarette or vaping products, as a mystery illness linked to vaping continues to spread.
Renée Coleman-Mitchell said her department has learned of six more patients hospitalized for severe lung disease, bringing the total number of potentially vaping-related cases in the state to 11.
The problem was first reported in Connecticut on August 14, and there have now been cases in Fairfield, New Haven and New London counties. Health officials say the patients are between the ages of 15 and 50.
Although all the Connecticut patients are recovering and most have now been discharged, a national investigation is underway into more than 450 cases across the country.
Coleman-Mitchell said the disease has caused fatalities in other states.
“Connecticut residents should consider not using e-cigarette products, at least for now, while we and our counterparts in other states and the federal government look into what is causing these severe respiratory symptoms,” she said in a statement issued by DPH “The exact cause of these illnesses has not yet been identified, but we have seen patients suffer from severe infections. This is a serious public health concern.”
DPH said no one substance or product has been definitely linked to all of the cases.
If residents do continue to use e-cigarettes the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that they not buy products off the street, and do not modify any product or add any substances.