Vaping-Related Lung Injury in the US: A Pop Quiz

Sydney Jennings

Associate Editor of Patient Care Online

How current are you on the outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, as of today? Take our pop quiz on the latest facts and figures to find out. 

The number of reported cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) has continuously risen over the past few months, with updated information released nearly every week.

Trying to keep track of the rapid rise in EVALI cases and deaths? You are not alone. It can be easy for not only the public, but busy clinicians as well to get lost in the influx of data and recommendations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the updated numbers of EVALI cases and deaths associated with the use of e-cigarette products as of October 15. How current are you, as of today? Find out with our 6-question pop quiz below.

1. As of October 15, how many confirmed and probable cases of EVALI have been reported and by how many states?

A. 380 cases; 30 states
B. 805 cases; 35 states
C. 1000 cases; 49 states
D. 1479 cases; 49 states

Answer: D. 1479 cases in 49 states. There have been 1479 confirmed and probable cases of EVALI reported in 49 states, an increase from the 1299 cases that were reported as of October 8. This is even more concerning given the fact that during July and August of this year, only 5 patients were identified with acute lung injury potentially associated with e-cigarette use.


2. What is the current number of confirmed deaths associated with e-cigarette product use?

A. 9
B. 13
C. 25
D. 33

Answer: D. 33. There have been 33 confirmed deaths in 24 states, 7 more than 1 week prior when 26 deaths were confirmed. Patients who have died range in age from 17 to 75 years old with a median age of 44 years.


3. California and Texas are the only 2 states that have reported >100 cases of lung injury.

A. True
B. False

Answer: B. False. California and Illinois are the only 2 states that have reported between 100-149 cases of lung injury as of October 15. Alaska is the only state that has not reported any cases.


4. The CDC has data on substances used in e-cigarette products in the 3 months prior to symptom onset for 849 lung injury patients. Approximately what percentage of these patients reported using products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with or without nicotine-containing products?

A. 25%
B. 49%
C. 66%
D. 78%
E. 83%

Answer: D. 78%. Among the 849 patients with information regarding substances used in e-cigarette products in the 3 months prior to symptom onset, 78% reported using THC-containing products, with or without nicotine-containing products; 31% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.


5. Approximately what percentage of the 849 patients with information on substances used in vaping products in the 3 months before symptom onset reported only using products with nicotine and not THC?

A. 10%
B. 32%
C. 49%
D. 56%

Answer: A. 10%. Among the patients with information on substances used in vaping products in the 3 months before symptom onset, 10% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products vs 58% who reported using nicotine-containing products, with or without THC-containing products.


6. As of October 15, the CDC has age and sex data for 1358 patients with lung injury. Approximately what percentage of this population is aged <35 years?

A. 50%
B. 61%
C. 79%
D. 85%
E. >90%

Answer: C. 79%. Among the 1358 lung injury patients with data regarding their age and sex, 79% are aged <35 years. The median age of patients is 23 years, ranging from 13 to 75 years; 70% of patients are men.