Vaping warning issued as lung disease numbers continue to rise

Simple Health

FILE – In this April 11, 2018 file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is declaring a public health emergency and ordering a four-month temporary ban on all vaping products in the state. The Republican governor made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 amid growing concern about the health effects of vaping products. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Twelve people in the Austin area are suffering from a lung illness directly linked to vaping, according to Austin Public Health.

Officials have warned the community not to use e-cigarettes as the number of cases continues to rise.

The Austin Public Health epidemiology and disease surveillance unit said it is investigating 12 cases of Austin and Travis County residents with vaping-related lung injury.

Across Texas, the number of people suffering from severe lung disease as a result of vaping has almost doubled in the last three weeks, according to figures provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

DSHS said Tuesday that 165 people in Texas have a vaping-related illness – just three weeks ago, it put the number at 95.

It said that patients in the state range from 13 to 75 years old. Half are 22 or younger, and about a quarter of those affected are children, DSHS said.

State and local health departments continue to investigate what they describe as an “outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use.”

An elderly woman from North Texas is the only person to die from a vaping-related disease in the state so far.

According to DSHS, some e-cigarette users have reported difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and coughing. In more serious cases, people have experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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