Case report of electronic cigarettes possibly associated with eosinophilic pneumonitis in a previously healthy active-duty sailor

J Emerg Med. 2014 Jul;47(1):15-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.09.034. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a technology that has been touted as a safe and effective alternative to traditional cigarettes. There is, however, a paucity of literature showing the adverse outcomes of e-cigarettes and a correlation with acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP).

Objective: To present a possible association between e-cigarettes and AEP.

Case report: A 20-year-old previously healthy man was found to develop AEP after smoking an e-cigarette. He was treated with antibiotics and steroids and his symptoms improved.

Conclusion: Though an alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can have unpredictable and potentially serious adverse effects. More research needs to be conducted to determine their safety. If seeing a patient in the ED with pulmonary symptoms after use of e-cigarettes, AEP should be considered in the differential.

Keywords: cigarette; electronic; eosinophilic; pneumonitis; smoking.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cough / etiology
  • Dyspareunia / etiology
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Naval Medicine
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / etiology*
  • Young Adult