The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed the state's first death from a vaping-associated injury. The adult male was from East Alabama.
The death comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues its investigation of a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping. The CDC is investigating more than 805 lung injury cases in 46 states and 1 U.S. territory. Twelve deaths have now been confirmed in a total of 10 states (Alabama is not included in this number).
Patients report symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms growing worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Most of the cases are among adolescents and young adults.
ADPH is asking persons who sought medical care for a potential vaping-related injury to contact Jamey Durham at ADPH at 334-206-5634 if they have any vaping/e-cigarette products that can be obtained for testing purposes.
Vaping falls under the City of Cullman's Clean Air Act following a unanimous vote of the Cullman City Council in Oct. 2018.
The move was made after local pulmonologist Dr. Scott Warner recommended the move to the council at a previous meeting.
The ordinance forbids smoking tobacco products inside public buildings and requires that smokers not be in the doorways outside a business while using tobacco, and now vaping.
The Clean Air Act still allows businesses some choices about the use of tobacco indoors.
As of October 1, there were 19 Alabama residents under investigation. Of the 19 reports, 4 cases have been identified and 9 other reports are still under investigation in Alabama; 3 have been identified as probable cases; 1 confirmed case (the deceased), of lung disease associated with vaping. National counts will be updated on Thursday.
Those who choose to continue the use of e-cigarettes and vape products should not buy these products off the street or from unregulated sources. Consumers should avoid modifying or adding any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer.
Free help is available for individuals who are ready to kick the tobacco habit at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or quitnowalabama.com.