Lung Injury Outbreak Data

As of Monday, January 27, 2020, 134 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported in Utah. Only those individuals who were hospitalized as a result of their injury are counted as official cases. The state has also reported one death associated with the outbreak.

As newly reported EVALI cases continue to decline, the UDOH will no longer be reporting case counts. The case count provided as of January 27, 2020 will be our last update. Coordination of activities related to the EVALI outbreak are also being suspended at this time. However, healthcare providers will continue to monitor for new EVALI cases and report to public health. If EVALI cases begin to increase again, active coordination among public health agencies and health care providers will resume. This follows a similar strategy other states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are undertaking at this time. This is a routine process for emergency responses such as the EVALI outbreak. We will provide new information if and when it becomes available.

Given the evidence, vaping THC cartridges or “carts” is likely the driver of this outbreak of severe lung injury. The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) recommends people do not vape THC cartridges until we learn more.

Most Utah cases are in their 20s or 30s. The median age of Utah cases is 26.

Men account for 72% of the Utah cases while women account for the remaining 28%, which is similar to case demographics seen in other states.

The majority of cases in Utah have symptom onset dates beginning in late July and early August.

Eighty-nine percent of cases self-reported vaping THC cartridges and 60% self-reported vaping nicotine. Many cases also report vaping both products.

Substance# of CasesPercentage
THC Cartridges106 of 11394%
Nicotine Catridges71 of 10667%
Both THC & nicotine60 of 11751%

Data include case reports with missing responses.

Most THC products were acquired through friends, online, and in-person dealers. A small percentage of THC products were acquired at out-of-state dispensaries or purchased at vape shops in Utah. Nicotine products were acquired mostly at vape shops in Utah.

*Data in the above chart are current as of Oct. 15, 2019

The UDOH Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL) has been working with state and national laboratories to test products used by case patients. Thirty-nine samples were tested at the UPHL for several chemical compounds including illicit drugs (e.g., opioids, fentanyl, and methamphetamines), cutting agents, and biologic toxins. Of the 39 products tested by the UPHL, 19 were THC cartridges and 20 were nicotine e- juices. Almost all THC cartridges tested contained vitamin E acetate, a known cutting agent. In contrast, no nicotine products tested showed any unexpected compounds.

Vitamin E
THC Samples19100%5%89%
Nicotine Samples200%100%0%

*Data in the above table are current as of Oct. 15, 2019