Officials report first death in United States possibly tied to vaping

Officials report first death in United States possibly tied to vaping

The CDC said more than 150 cases of pulmonary illnesses have been reported in 16 states.

State and local public health officials are investigating cases of six Ohioans who experienced severe pulmonary illness following the use of e-cigarettes, the Ohio Department of Health announced Friday. However, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.

According to the CDC, in many cases, including IL, patients have acknowledged to health care personnel recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products.

It said those hospitalized were aged 17 to 38 and that symptoms included coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Health officials said it is still unclear whether there's a connection between cases among different states, whether vaping definitively caused these illnesses, and what components or chemicals of e-cigarettes might be responsible.

The state health department's announcement comes just one day after a Texas family said they believe vaping was to blame for the death of 30-year-old Brandon Wells, who died in 2013.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment ask people who vape and now have a lung illness or may have had one in the past three months should contact their doctor or local health department. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it is available.

The common thread connecting the cases, the officials said, was that the individuals were using e-cigarettes or vaping in the months before they developed pulmonary complications.

Wells mother and sister say he was a heavy e-cigarette user but the martial arts teacher and masseuse was otherwise healthy.

"Anyone who thinks that they may be experiencing serious breathing problems linked to vaping should seek immediate medical attention", said Dr. Acton.

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