WHO: Keith S. Naunheim, MD, Vallee L. Melba Willman Professor and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Saint Louis University (SLU), and past president of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

WHY: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working together with state and local public health partners to investigate the incidents of severe respiratory illness related to the use of vaping products.

As of September 11, 2019, 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to CDC; seven deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

In many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea, or other symptoms such as fevers or fatigue.

CONTACT: Dr. Naunheim is available to speak with the media about concerns associated with vaping. Please contact Jennifer Bagley, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 312-202-5865, [email protected], to arrange an interview.