First Vaping Related Death in U.S. Reported in Illinois

We still don't know the extent of the effect these products will have on our health.

Illinois health officials are speaking out to publicize what may be the first death in the United States that can be directly linked to vaping.

Possible First Vaping Death In U.S.

CNN reported that officials announced that an adult just passed away after vaping for years and developing a severe respiratory illness as a result. This comes as numerous lung and pulmonary illnesses are being reported all over the U.S. that doctors say could be connected to e-cigarettes.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement saying they know of 193 potential cases of severe lung disease in 22 states that could be caused by vaping. In Illinois, the number of potential cases has doubled since last week.

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“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. He added that his department has asked for help from the CDC, which sent officials to assist them.

Health Officials Warn Public

Illinois health officials said that patients experienced a variety of symptoms that included cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms then “worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.” Ezike said that many of the cases occurred in people with “no known lung problems or previously diagnosed pulmonary issues.”

Officials have said that it is still unclear whether vaping is definitely behind these illnesses and if or what components of e-cigarretes could be responsible. However, officials with both the CDC and the Illinois Department Of Public Health said that many of the patients have also reported using products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis.

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“However, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses,” the state health department said. “Even though cases appear similar, it is not clear if these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar symptoms.”

CDC Investigating

The CDC added that they are working with state health departments and the US Food and Drug Administration to figure out what exact products are to blame for these illnesses.

Vaping has caught on among young people in recent years and has been hailed as a “healthy” alternative to smoking cigarettes. Experts, however, have long warned that there could be negative health side effects to vaping, and we seem to be seeing that right now. If you have a loved one who vapes, you might want to consider convincing them to stop immediately. It might just save their life.

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