Electronic Cigarette

During April 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified 8 patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) who were hospitalized in the state. Each patient was determined to be negative by diagnostic testing for the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Each also reported vaping THC- containing products. These 8 patients represent new cases since February 2020. It is unclear whether these newly reported cases represent a re-emergence of EVALI in California, or whether EVALI cases have been missed or underreported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of this development during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, CDPH recommends that all clinicians consider the EVALI diagnosis for hospitalized patients who report a history of vaping in the past 90 days when the SARS- CoV-2 nucleic acid test is also negative. CDPH has provisionally revised California’s definition of EVALI, requiring that all CONFIRMED EVALI cases have a negative SARS- CoV-2 nucleic acid test to be labeled as such. The PROBABLE EVALI case definition has provisionally been eliminated.

If EVALI cases occur locally, clinicians are asked to:

  • Collect and hold the original product and/or devices for testing, if the patient has

    them on hand.

  • Report the case by phone to the applicable local health department:
    • County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health: 626-299-3504 
    • City of Long Beach Health Department: 562-570-4302
    • City of Pasadena Public Health Department: 626-744-6089

Click Here for the full CDPH Health Alert.

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