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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Those who continue vaping should take precautions

Berkeley, California (Thursday, October 03, 2019) - State and city public health officials urge everyone to refrain from vaping any substance until current investigations regarding vaping-related illness are complete. 

Those who choose to continue vaping are urged to monitor themselves and seek immediate attention for symptoms reported by those who have gotten sick:

  • Breathing symptoms: shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Non-specific symptoms: fatigue, fever, weight loss

In addition, state public health officials urge those who continue vaping to

  • avoid buying any vaping products on the street
  • purchase cannabis products from licensed businesses whose products are tested
  • never modify a store-bought vape product

These recommendations from the California Department of Public Health are also supported by Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer, and are prompting this broader outreach. 

These recommendations come after reports of at least 805 cases and 12 deaths from 46 states and one U.S. territory have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In California, the state has received 104 reports of people who vape being hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage from June through Oct. 2.  There have been two deaths. In Alameda County, there have been 4 cases reported. None have been reported in the City of Berkeley.  

Vaping is inhaling aerosol from an e-cigarette or other vaping device that heats a liquid that can contain nicotine, marijuana (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) or other substances. The shapes and sizes of these devices vary and include colorful vape pens. New pod-based devices that can look like USB flash drives, cell phones, credit card holders, and highlighters.

These devices are frequently referred to as e-cigarettes, e‐cigs, vapes, vape pens, electronic vaporizers, pod mods, or pod systems.

Until we know more, refrain from vaping. If you continue, please take precautions.


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