Health

Kentucky’s Department for Public Health announced Tuesday that it is now investigating 25 cases of a lung disease associated with vaping. One case has been confirmed. The state also recommended against using vaping products while a nationwide outbreak continues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said there are now more than 1,080 cases of these lung illnesses across 48 states. The federal agency says almost a quarter of sickened patients are between the ages 25 and 34. Another 39 percent are between ages 18 and 24. 

Department for Public Health Commissioner Angela Dearinger said in a press release that the state is working with the Food and Drug Administration, local health departments and the CDC.

“As the investigation into the cause of severe lung injury associated with vaping continues, we recommend you refrain from using e-cigarettes, or any vaping product,” Dearinger said.

Though the CDC hasn’t said if there’s a common product those sickened have used, the health agency said many have used counterfeit THC vapes. Others have reported using legally-purchased vapes that contain nicotine.

Patients with the lung illness experience symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.

The move from the state comes about a week after health officials in Louisville also told residents to stop vaping while cases grow.

Health experts have long warned that the FDA does not pre-approve or test vaping ingredients for safety. And researchers don’t yet know the long-term health effects of vaping on health.

For help quitting smoking or using e-cigarettes, visit www.QuitNowKentucky.com, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter.