Public Notice: Vaping Related Lung Illnesses

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Leech Lake Health Services is aware of the vaping epidemic and we are addressing it on a partnership level.

With the tremendous amount of information we receive on this topic daily, we are working on initiatives to educate the community. We are in contact with the local schools to educate the students, staff, faculty and parents. We have partnered with a few other clinical programs that will also educate at schools, events & within the clinic setting.

We have been given information from the Minnesota Department of Health that the most common link in these reported illnesses is the vaping of non-medical, illegal THC which is a component of cannabis.  However, both nicotine and THC have been reported to be associated with this illness. These products have all been reported to have been obtained outside of the retail market. No single product has been implicated to be the illness causing source.

The illness presents as pneumonia that does not resolve with antibiotics; shortness of breath, fever, cough, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness & chest pain.  The treatment for this is generally steroids. In severe cases, an extensive hospital stay, lasting weeks, and sometimes requiring artificial ventilation is the current course of treatment.

In Minnesota, there has been 1 confirmed death, 25 confirmed cases and 12 possible cases that health officials are still investigating.

For questions or more information please call Natalie or Briana at the Health Services Tobacco Program 335-4500

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