News Releases

Osteopathic physicians call illnesses related to e-cigarettes a public health crisis

Statement from the American Osteopathic Association President Ronald Burns, DO

By AOA Media Team


CHICAGO—September 10, 2019—The American Osteopathic Association released the following statement in response to a multistate investigation into reports of e-cigarette related lung illnesses, including several fatalities.

“Reports of recent deaths related to vaping and e-cigarettes constitute a public health crisis—particularly for adolescents and young adults. The American Osteopathic Association calls upon the US Food and Drug Administration to take immediate action to make young people aware of the risks associated with these products.

“The AOA is especially concerned that flavored vaping materials were targeted to vulnerable youth, some of whom would never have smoked a cigarette but lost their lives to vaping because they didn’t know it could quickly kill them or permanently damage their lungs. It is incumbent upon the government and health care professionals to drive awareness among users.

“The nation’s 145,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students encourage patients who have used e-cigarettes to contact their physician if they experience coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal pain, fever or weight loss. DOs are encouraged to report new cases of lung disease that may be related to e-cigarette use and educate their patients about the potential for serious harm within hours, days or weeks of using an e-cigarette,” said AOA President Ronald Burns, DO.

The American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents nearly 145,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit