County of Marin - News Releases - Vaping Advisory

For Immediate Release
September 06, 2019

Marin County Health Officials Advise Against Vaping

Lung Injury Cases Surge Across State

San Rafael, CA –As cases of vaping associated lung injury surge nationally and across the State, Marin County health officials are advising residents to stop vaping until more is known about this mysterious illness. While no cases have surfaced yet in Marin County, 57 cases of severe respiratory illness following e-cigarette use have been reported in California, up from 24 cases two weeks ago. Today, California’s first death was reported in Los Angeles.

Two hands are shown with a vaping product.450 cases of acute lung injury are believed to be caused by vaping.
“Until we know what’s causing this, the only way to be sure we’re protected is to avoid using e- cigarettes. It’s just not safe to vape,” said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.


The CDC reported 450 cases nationally in 33 states since July and has not yet identified the substance within the vaping product causing acute lung injury. All cases reported vaping in the weeks prior to developing symptoms. Most but not all cases have been associated with e-cigarette products containing cannabis. Many of the cases are among teenagers and young people, and one in three have required mechanical ventilation in intensive care.

“It’s especially scary that this is hitting healthy young people, since we’ve seen such an increase in vaping among Marin youth,” said Jasmine Gerraty, who leads youth outreach with the Marin County Tobacco Control Program. The number of 11th graders in Marin who reported using e- cigarettes on a regular basis more than doubled in the past two years to nearly one in three.

Marin County Health and Human Services issued a Public Health Alert to county healthcare providers today, urging them to be on the lookout for cases of otherwise unexplained respiratory illnesses. Clinicians are also being asked to advise their patients not to use any e- cigarette products until further notice.

“It’s never been healthy to vape,” added Willis. “But now we’re concerned it could land someone in the hospital.”


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer

Dr. Lisa Santora
Deputy Public Health Officer

Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website