First Death Related to Vaping: Health Officials Are Seeing More and More Patients with Illnesses Relating to Vaping and E-Cigarettes

First Death Related to Vaping: Health Officials Are Seeing More and More Patients with Illnesses Relating to Vaping and E-Cigarettes

After a recent Illinois death relating to vaping, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating other cases relating to the potential hazards behind e-cigarettes and “vaping” devices.

Recently, one individual tragically died in the hospital after the patient reportedly suffered from severe lung disease and other health problems. The CDC is currently investigating the case and working with state and local health departments and the FDA to determine the cause(s) of this ongoing and increasingly-prevalent outbreak of lung disease and lung illnesses.

Since e-cigarettes and vaping devices were first sold on the market, the CDC has warned about the potential risks associated with these devices. However, it has also noted that there is not enough research on the devices to determine the long-term or severe health effects. It has been determined, however, that vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms – including flavorings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents. E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

Officials say while this is the first death confirmed to be related to vaping and e-cigarette products, there has been an alarming increase in the number of people suffering from respiratory illnesses after vaping or using e-cigarette devices.  

At least 22 people, ranging in age from 17 to 38, have developed some type of respiratory illness after using e-cigarette devices, report the CDC. Twelve other cases are under investigation. Of the cases of respiratory illness in the state of Illinois, common symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before they went to the hospital.

The CDC reports that a possible 153 respiratory cases in the United States are related to vaping and e-cigarettes. Health officials around the country have been reporting patients getting sick after vaping: two in Connecticut, four in Iowa and six in Ohio that were announced last week.With the Illinois case, The Illinois Department of Public Health did not release the individual’s name, sex, age or where they lived. It is undetermined if the individual had preexisting health conditions.

For more information on the fatal Illinois case, see the CBS news article and the CDC article on the topic. 

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