First Death Connected to Vaping Confirmed; Few Details Released but Illinois Patient Was Between 17 and 38 Years Old

  • An Illinois patient who contracted a serious lung disease from vaping has died, according to health officials on Friday, which is believed to be the first death linked to vaping, a new smoking alternative popular among younger people.
  • In a news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health said that the patient “was between 17 and 38 years old” and “had been hospitalized after falling ill following vaping.”
  • However, details including “the patient’s name, hometown or date of death” were withheld.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a news release on Wednesday “in which it said 149 people nationwide had contracted a severe respiratory illness after vaping, but that there hadn’t been any deaths reported as of then.”
  • After the news of the Illinois patient’s death, CDC officials haven’t publicly commented on the case.
  • According to the IDPH, “the number of people who contracted a respiratory illness after vaping had doubled in the past week, to 22.”
  • IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the release, “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.
  • Ezike added: “We requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us investigate these cases and they arrived in Illinois on Tuesday.”
  • The CDC reported that all the reported cases involved “teens or adults who had used an electronic cigarette or some other kind of vaping device.”
  • Physicians have said “the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the lungs apparently reacting to a caustic substance. So far, infectious diseases have been ruled out.”
  • Although e-cigarettes are believed to be safer than traditional cigarettes, their long-time health effects are still largely unknown.

Reference Links

  • AP: Illinois patient’s death may be first in US tied to vaping READ
  • Reuters: Illinois reports death from lung illness linked to vaping READ
  • Chicago Tribune: An Illinois resident just died from a mysterious vaping-related illness. It could be the first-ever death tied to vaping in the U.S. READ
  • Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois resident dies of respiratory illness after vaping: health officials READ

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