The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that a person has died from a pulmonary illness that was intensified or caused by vaping. This is reportedly the first person who has died from e-cigarette use.
Earlier this week, there was a CDC report that there were 94 cases of severe lung illness linked to vaping in 14 different states between June 28 to August 15. The number of people hospitalized from a mysterious e-cigarette-linked illness has jumped to 193 as of Friday.
One of the Americans who suffered from pulmonary illness associated with vaping has died, making them the first death linked to e-cigarettes. The person who died was from Illinois, which has seen at least 22 victims hospitalized because of the illness, most of them were men between the ages of 17 and 38. There are 12 more cases being examined in Illinois.
The CDC is describing the illness as “severe unexplained respiratory systems after reported vaping or e-cigarette use.” Patients experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and gastrointestinal problems including vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.
No specific product has been identified. The CDC is not sure if the illness is from nicotine cartridges or THC.
“We do know that e-cigarettes do not emit a harmless aerosol,” said Dr. Brian King from the CDC. “There’s a variety of harmful ingredients identified, including things like ultrafine particulates, heavy metals like lead and cancer-causing chemicals. And flavoring used in e-cigarettes to give it a buttery flavor, diacetyl, it’s been related to severe respiratory illness.”
“We haven’t specifically linked any of those specific ingredients to the current cases but we know that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless,” King added.
All of the victims were current vapers or had recently vaped. The CDC has ruled out infectious disease as the cause of the illness.
“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 Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.