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Alabama Health Department investigates lung illnesses tied to vaping

The Alabama Health Department is in the process of investigating nearly half a dozen possible breathing illnesses tied to vaping.

Posted: Sep 8, 2019 7:23 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2019 10:35 AM

The Alabama Health Department is in the process of investigating nearly half a dozen possible breathing illnesses tied to vaping. In Tennessee, health officials are reporting 6 cases.

Doctors are reporting hundreds of people across the country are suffering severe lung illness. At least 5 people have died. Now, state and federal officials are trying to figure out why.

''We are seeing the very tip of the iceberg. If these products are being used in all 50 states, I think it's just a matter of time until we see health cases in all 50 states," youth tobacco prevention coordinator Anne Marie Martin said.

She says her biggest issue is people not being informed about the dangers of vaping. Now, she's trying to change that.

"I quit cold turkey," Hughes said.

Angela Hughes quit smoking cigarettes 10 years ago after her grandmother passed away with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She knows how hard it is for people to quit,

"It's hard. It's really hard. I mean I chewed gum for 2 weeks straight. It was rough," Hughes said.

She's never vaped before. She says she thought it was a safer alternative at first, but now she's worried about what vapers are putting in their bodies.

"I mean you go down the road and you see people have this big old vape cloud, and you just wonder what is in that?" Hughes said.

Anne Marie Martin is the youth tobacco prevention coordinator at partnership for a drug-free community. She says it's scary how quickly the number of deaths and cases are increasing. That's why her job to inform people in the community is so important.

"We don't know how bad this could be. People need to be careful," Martin said.

Health officials say no single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Martin says the chemicals in the vaping liquid can cause enough damage on their own.

"You're getting a lot of nicotine. Also, the flavors. Even for an e-cigarette that doesn't contain nicotine, some of the flavoring chemicals can scar your lungs," Hughes explained.

Martin says if people like Hughes want to quit there are other proven methods to help them kick their habit.

"If you want to quit smoking, Alabama quit line has some programs that are proven to stop smoking," Martin said.

Health officials are urging people to stop vaping until they figure out what's making people sick.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 162720

Reported Deaths: 2735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson24088384
Mobile17166319
Tuscaloosa10641142
Montgomery10576205
Madison961998
Shelby766067
Baldwin688871
Lee666965
Calhoun480663
Marshall450051
Etowah444553
Morgan442835
Houston426535
DeKalb357929
Elmore329258
St. Clair313843
Limestone300333
Walker290293
Talladega277737
Cullman271925
Lauderdale243743
Jackson228218
Autauga214131
Colbert212532
Franklin210732
Blount203925
Russell19993
Chilton192632
Dallas189427
Dale186252
Coffee185111
Covington178729
Escambia176031
Clarke139117
Tallapoosa138587
Chambers138147
Pike137014
Marion111831
Barbour10569
Marengo105322
Butler102041
Geneva9597
Winston95313
Pickens90018
Lawrence89933
Bibb86615
Randolph85316
Hale78330
Cherokee76915
Clay76712
Washington75912
Henry7366
Lowndes72328
Monroe66310
Bullock65117
Crenshaw61630
Fayette60413
Perry6026
Cleburne5819
Conecuh57313
Wilcox57212
Macon55020
Lamar5255
Sumter48721
Choctaw39512
Greene34616
Coosa2193
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 259488

Reported Deaths: 3341
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby37618571
Davidson32908350
Knox1330196
Rutherford12485116
Hamilton12251111
Williamson749657
Sumner6439117
Wilson495064
Putnam463859
Montgomery442861
Out of TN430436
Sullivan410052
Madison392780
Washington387758
Bradley372923
Maury363039
Blount355441
Sevier353423
Robertson270243
Hamblen256950
Tipton250123
Dyer236338
Unassigned23047
Gibson223449
Coffee201428
Hardeman193933
Greene192755
Obion186527
Anderson184816
Bedford180522
Trousdale17949
Dickson179119
Fayette177427
Lawrence173220
McMinn172939
Carter172136
Cumberland169827
Loudon169713
Wayne16237
Jefferson162224
Weakley161926
Monroe153629
Warren152011
Lauderdale150717
Roane14478
Hardin144423
Henderson144326
Macon138425
Franklin135124
Haywood133428
Hawkins128629
Overton126825
White126615
Johnson12118
Marshall120512
Carroll118127
Cocke116716
McNairy116330
Rhea115121
Cheatham112012
Campbell111613
Bledsoe10404
Smith104014
Giles102238
Lake9924
Lincoln9514
Fentress94812
Crockett91722
Henry84512
Hickman84115
Marion82613
DeKalb79018
Chester74416
Decatur68211
Grainger6414
Grundy60013
Union5604
Claiborne5498
Polk53813
Unicoi4865
Jackson4778
Humphreys4694
Lewis4586
Morgan4587
Benton44110
Cannon4362
Houston43117
Clay42216
Scott4165
Sequatchie3702
Stewart35613
Perry3508
Meigs3396
Pickett2879
Moore2862
Van Buren2132
Hancock1273

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