Indiana Links Its 1st Death to Vaping; Health Officials Urge People to Stop

Indiana officials say the death involved person older than 18, but that no additional information about the patient will be released

Indiana health officials confirmed Friday that a resident died from severe lung injury linked to vaping, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again urged people to stop using electronic cigarettes while it investigates the spate of vaping-related illnesses that have popped up around the country.

The death announced by the Indiana State Department of Health is the state's first and the country's third tied to the use of electronic cigarettes. Previous deaths have been reported in Illinois and Oregon.

Indiana officials say the death involved a person older than 18, but that no additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws. The Indiana agency says it has confirmed eight cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping and is investigating more than 20 other suspected cases.

Nationwide, U.S. health officials said Friday they had identified 450 possible illnesses, including at least three deaths, in 33 states - again asking people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.

"While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products," the CDC said in a statement.

"People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns," the CDC continued.

"Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer," health officials said, adding that e-cigarettes should never be used by young people, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. 

Health officials say no single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Many of the sickened — but not all — were people who had been vaping THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high.

A week ago, U.S. officials pegged the number at 215 possible cases in 25 states. Health officials have only been counting certain lung illnesses in which the person had vaped within three months. Most are teens.

Michigan's governor moved Wednesday to make it the first state banning flavored e-cigarettes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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