TULARE COUNTY, Florida — A California man has become the seventh person to die from a vaping-related illness in the US.
The 40-year-old, who died over the weekend, is the second person to die in the state. Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon have each reported one death from vaping.
The United States Centers for Disease Control announced Monday that they had activated their Emergency Operations Center to better investigate the outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes.
The CDC says it has identified 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes in 36 states and the US Virgin Islands. Earlier this month they said they were investigating at least 450 possible cases of lung disease related to vaping.
Man who died was sick for several weeks
The man in the latest case was sick for several weeks after he suffered a “severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping,” Karen Haught, the Tulare County public health officer, said in a press release.
“The Tulare County Public Health Branch would like to warn all residents that any use of ecigarettes poses a possible risk to the health of the lungs and can potentially cause severe lung injury that may even lead to death,” Haught said in the press release. “Long-term effects of vaping on health are unknown. Anyone considering vaping should be aware of the serious potential risk associated with vaping.”
County of Los Angeles Public Health announced the death of a resident potentially related to the use of e-cigarettes earlier this month.
‘It is time to stop vaping’
The first death identified as related to vaping was announced in August when the Illinois Department of Public Health released a statement saying the person had been hospitalized with “severe respitory illness” after recently vaping. Cases have of vaping related illness have been identified in eleven counties in the state.
In July a person in Oregon who had recently vaped products containing cannabis purchased at a dispensary died, according to a statement released in early September by the Oregon Health Authority.
Officials in Oregon said the symptoms the patient suffered were similar to at least 200 cases in a national cluster that was mostly affecting teenagers and young adults.
“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Ann Thomas, M.D., public health physician at OHA’s Public Health Division.
Another death related to vaping was identified by health officials in Indiana on Sept. 6. The patient was over the age of 18 and died of a severe lung injury linked to a history of e-cigarette use.
The same day the Minnesota of Department of Health said a patient who was over 65 years old died in August after a long and complicated hospitalization. The patient had a history of underlying lung disease and suffered a sever lung injury associated with vaping THC products, Minnesota State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said in the press release.
Within a week, two more deaths were announced in Los Angeles County and Kansas.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the patient was over 50 years old and had a history of underlying health issues with symptoms that quickly progressed. It was unknown what type of products the patient used, the release said.
“It is time to stop vaping,” Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify.”