First vaping related death recorded in Tennessee

Henrietta Brewer
October 18, 2019

Nationally, at least 29 vaping related deaths in 22 states have now been reported after another death was also confirmed in Montana Wednesday.

But because the cause of the lung illnesses remains unclear, "the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products", the CDC says on its website. One patient had vaped a number of products including illegal THC.

Earlier this month, DPH officials announced that a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County was the state's first death from vaping-related lung injury. Health advocates have long raised alarms that products touted as a healthier alternative to cigarettes are getting youths addicted to nicotine, and the Trump administration plans to ban the flavored products often blamed for drawing in kids. State health officials said the cause of death is pulmonary disease and is associated with vaping, but details beyond that are unclear. Twenty-eight people have died.

It's also urged that no one should use vaping products that contain THC, which were used by 76 percent of those who developed lung illnesses. The state has received 123 other reports of vaping-related illnesses since September 11.

Today (Oct. 17), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the outbreak's death toll has climbed to 33, up from 26 deaths reported last week. Of the cases reported to the CDC, nine were under age 20, seven from 20 to 29, seven from 30 to 49, and six 50 or older.

The ages vary in the reported cases.

DPH has conducted patient interviews in 12 of the 29 cases reported to CDC and continues to contact patients for interviews. Seven were between the ages of 20 and 29.

The ban includes the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products, including flavored nicotine, THC, and CBD vaping products, in-store and online.

So far, the state has seen 73 confirmed or probable cases of severe lung injury associated with vaping, and an additional 32 people are being evaluated. "Case counts continue to increase and new cases are being reported, which makes it more hard to determine the cause or causes of this outbreak".

Her agency urged people to avoid vaping anything containing illegal cannabis products, "as nearly all of those Minnesotans who developed severe lung injuries had a history of frequent vaping of illegal cannabis".

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