BATON ROUGE, La. — Nine cases of pulmonary illness believed to be associated with e-cigarettes have been reported in Louisiana over the past two weeks, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The health department has begun asking physicians to to report the suspected cases as the number of such cases around the country appear to be on the rise.

"E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. Others may contain marijuana or other substances. The devices may be referred to as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, mods, tanks or electronic nicotine delivery systems," said a statement from the department of health to health care workers.

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The Department of Health offered the following recommendations to the public: 

  • If you are concerned about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes, consider discontinuing the products.
  • E-cigarette products should not be bought off the street and should not be modified or have substances not intended for use by the manufacturer added.
  • Youth, young adults and pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products, should not use e-cigarettes.
  • Monitor for symptoms of severe side effects if you do use e-cigarettes. If you do develop symptoms, seek medical attention. These symptoms include:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Fever
    • Weight loss
  • Additionally, concerns about the harmful effects from e-cigarettes can be directed to your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  • Adult smokers who are looking to quit smoking can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.quitwithusla.org for information on FDA-approved counseling and medications.