|HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF|
Nearly everyone who has become sick in Utah has reported vaping THC cartridges prior to becoming ill. The Utah Department of Health recommends you immediately stop vaping THC cartridges while we continue to investigate this outbreak.
If you do vape THC cartridges and if you experience any of the symptoms below, you should seek immediate medical care.
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Some patients have reported their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported their symptoms developed over several weeks. When seeking medical care, tell your health care provider about what vaping products you have used.
|WHAT IS PUBLIC HEALTH DOING TO STOP THE OUTBREAK?|
Public health agencies and health care providers throughout the state are working to determine the cause of these severe illnesses.
Public health workers are actively identifying and tracking new cases. They are interviewing patients to obtain a history of their vaping habits, including the types of products they’ve been using and how frequently they use them.
They are also collecting product samples from patients and are coordinating with state and federal partners to test these products to determine if they contain harmful substances that may contribute to severe lung illness. The Utah Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and other state laboratories are testing samples for the presence of a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids, along with cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons, heavy metals, and toxins.
|MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS|
Many people who vape THC do so to treat other medical conditions. Our advice to medical cannabis patients is to refrain from vaping THC products while this outbreak is ongoing. If there are other THC products that have been effective in treating your medical condition, you should use those products until the outbreak has ended.
If medical cannabis patients choose to continue vaping THC to treat their medical conditions, they should consider the following guidelines:
- Only purchase THC vape cartridges from reputable, licensed dispensaries.
- Do not modify or add any substances to the cartridges.
- Know the symptoms of vaping-related lung injuries and seek immediate medical care if you experience any of them.
While, vaping has been promoted as a safer alternative to smoking, the CDC says e-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, you should not start. E-cigarettes are devices that deliver an aerosol to the user by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. E-cigarettes are still a relatively new tobacco product, and additional research is needed to better understand the dangers and long-term risks of using them.
If you are an adult using e-cigarettes, or vaping, products to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. Use evidence-based treatments, including healthcare provider counseling and FDA approved medications.
Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your health care provider.
Information about e-cigarettes and vapes can be found on the UDOH website at https://thetobaccotalk.org/#products.
For information about how you can help yourself or a loved one quit tobacco, including e-cigarettes, please visit waytoquit.org, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.