Maryland Secretary of Health Issues Health Advisory as Reports of Vape-Related Illnesses and Deaths Rise

Health care providers must now report all suspected cases of vape-related injury.

Annapolis, MD – 23 cases of vape-related lung injuries have been voluntarily reported in Maryland, causing health officials to mandate Maryland health care providers and departments to report suspected vape-related injuries to the state.

Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall issued the order Thursday, citing a CDC health advisory on vaping related lung injuries.

Dr. Clifford Mitchell of the MDH said providers are required to report suspected vaping injuries within one working day.

“We really want to make sure that providers are looking for these cases actively; that they’re talking to their patients about vaping,” Dr. Mitchell said. “Part of the goal for this is to increase awareness amongst our provider community.”

The CDC reports that over 1,000 cases of vape-related injuries in the US have been confirmed, with at least 18 confirmed deaths.

Dr. Mitchell said the mandatory reporting of vaping injuries will give the state better opportunities to investigate cases and increase chances of prevention.

“These are not trivial cases,” Dr. Mitchell said. “Even if they have not died, they have been very, very sick, and in some case have been hospitalized for a long period.”

Symptoms of vaping related illness include severe shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

By Timothy Young