Second US death linked to vaping is reported in Oregon

Friday, 06 Sep, 2019

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

Additional reports of lung illnesses are under investigation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is leading the investigation. As of August 27, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 215 similar cases. Two people - one in IL and another in OR - have died.

NY state has received almost three dozen reports of severe pulmonary illness among patients, ages 15 to 46. The FDA is analysing sample for a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC, other cannabinoids, "cutting agents" that may be used to dilute liquids, other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons and toxins.

In light of the reports, health officials are urging individuals who experience chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping to seek immediate medical attention before their symptoms worsen.

"We are aware of the discovery of vitamin E oil as a common ingredient in some of the samples that were tested from cases of this illness in other states".

The death is the second linked by public health officials nationwide to vaping and the first linked to product purchased at a marijuana dispensary.

The CDC says the 215 cases all involve e-cigarettes or other vaping products, but it is still not clear how vaping products are involved.

Cotton candy flavored e-liquid on display during Vape Jam UK 2019
Cotton candy flavored e-liquid on display during Vape Jam UK 2019

Vitamin E acetate is commonly available as a nutritional supplement. "Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not now use tobacco products".

"All of our cases who have reported using these THC products have reported buying them off the black market, so we have absolutely no idea what was inside these cartridges that they were vaping", said Holzbauer. "If that's the case, we may be seeing not the last cluster of lipoid pneumonia, but rather the first".

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said Wednesday that he will introduce legislation next week that would tax e-cigarettes in the same way that traditional cigarettes are taxed to reduce their appeal to teenagers who are increasingly taking up the popular smoking alternative. "They have contests to see how fast you can go through that, so therefore, you're going to get addicted faster because you're taking in a higher dose of nicotine".

"We're on the cusp of what we consider new territory in that this is not an illness or an association between vaping and acute respiratory illnesses that have been reported before or that CDC even collects information on", Ezike said.

According to a Fox News report, Kevin Boclair (19) was connected to a heart-lung machine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors have said he might need to undergo lung transplant surgery.

She applauded the public awareness campaign that's been launched but also noted "the risk of e-cigarettes is not only to young people, it's to all people".

The department said the unregulated products are not tested and may contain harmful substances.