Health Authority Investigating What Could Be Oregon's 1st Vaping-Related Death

Henrietta Brewer
September 5, 2019

Vaping and e-cigarette products of any kind contain cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead, and chemical flavors linked to lung disease, according to SCPH.

If you use these products and are coughing, have painful lungs, vomiting, fever or diarrhea, experts say see your doctor right away.

Public health authorities are investigating the brands and types of e-cigarette products used by the patients, where they were obtained, and whether any of them would fall under the FDA's regulatory authority.

The American Vaping Association, an advocacy group, issued a statement arguing that "tainted black market THC products" are to blame for the illnesses.

"We would like them to do more research before saying all vaping is bad", said Randy Burch, the owner of Euphoria Vapor.

Kafoury said she's lobbied for a state tax on e-cigarettes as well, adding that more needs to be done to combat "the myth" that e-cigarettes and vaping are safe.

Nationwide, some 215 "possible cases" of vape-associated lung disease have been reported, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other potential cases are under investigation.

"The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming, and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be unsafe", says IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike, MD, in a statement.

IL officials on Friday reported what they consider the first death in the nation linked to vaping after the person contracted a serious lung disease. Revenues would go to the Oregon Health Authority for medical and healthcare-related programs such as the state's Medical Assistance Program, mental health programs, and other programs concerning tobacco and nicotine health issues.

"One cartridge of Juul is equal to a pack of cigarettes", Owens says, "and there's some kids that will do a cartridge in a couple of hours". Symptoms worsen over a period of days or weeks before hospitalization.

"Our investigation has not yielded exactly what it is in this product", Thomas said.

"Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain - which continues to develop until about age 25", the agency states. Another 14 cases are potentially related to vaping. The only thing linking these disparate cases so far has been recent e-cigarette use. The products have been used in the USA for more than a decade and are generally considered safer than traditional cigarettes because they don't create all the cancer-causing byproducts of burning tobacco. "We have no long-term data to see what the effects are going to be for people".

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