Severe Lung Disease Associated with Vaping

Several states have recently reported cases of severe respiratory illness among teenagers and young adults with a history of vaping. Reported symptoms include cough, fatigue, dizziness, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, chest pain, and worsening difficulty breathing, sometimes requiring intensive care. A variety of vaping products associated with the illnesses have been reported across states, but THC has been commonly associated with these illnesses.

Youth should be discouraged from using vaping and e-cigarette products of any kind as the long-term health impacts for youth using these products are unknown. Patients with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems should seek medical care. Health care providers should ask patients with respiratory illness about the use of vaping and e-cigarette products. Health care providers are asked to report severe respiratory illness in patients with a history of vaping or e-cigarette use to the Iowa Department of Public Health (1-800-362-2736).

For more information on vaping, e-cigarettes and electronic smoking devices, click here.

This is an emerging health issue that is still under investigation. Below you will find links to information from the CDC and IDPH. 

Iowa Weekly Case Information

Beginning November 5, 2019, to align with CDC's case count updates, Iowa weekly case counts will be posted to this page on Tuesdays.

(Numbers are cumulative; cases are reported across the state and ages range from 15 to 62)

Press Releases

Recommendations for the Public

  • Since the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. IDPH, CDC and FDA will continue to advise and alert the public as more information becomes available.
  • Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit Quitline Iowa.
  • If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at1-800-222-1222.
  • We encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal: https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.

CDC and FDA Information


For general questions about emerging health issues, use the Contact Us system to submit a to IDPH.