Health Notice: Severe Lung Illness Associated with E-cigarette Products

September 13, 2019

As the fall semester is underway, Health Services wants to take the opportunity to raise your awareness about lung illness associated with e-cigarette products. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state, and local health agencies are investigating a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette product use. We urge all Brown community members to avoid use of e-cigarette products due to this outbreak. As of September 6th, 2019, over 450 possible cases of lung illness including six deaths have been associated with the use of e-cigarette products nationwide.

E-cigarette products refer to devices that use liquids, pods, or cartridges to deliver vapors commonly containing nicotine and flavorings and may also be used with marijuana or other substances. The investigation is ongoing and has not identified a cause, however, all reported cases have had a history of using e-cigarette products. At this time, the illness is believed to be due to chemical exposure, not infection.  

It is important not to assume that prior use of e-cigarettes without symptoms or illness indicates that it is safe to continue use. Seek immediate medical assistance should you experience shortness of breath. Inform your healthcare provider if you have been using an e-cigarette product so you can be thoroughly assessed. 

We urge any individual having trouble discontinuing use of nicotine containing products to contact their health care provider for assistance, including Health Services for enrolled Brown students. Additional smoking cessation and resources are available from the RI Department of Health.

Please contact Health Services at 401-863-3953 with any questions or concerns.  Wishing you all a healthy and productive semester.