First death linked to mysterious US vaping illness

An adult has died from a severe lung illness believed to be linked to vaping.

Almost 200 cases of mysterious lung illnesses across 22 US states have been tied to vaping by health officials – including products containing cannabis.

Officials in the US state of Illinois announced an anonymous adult who had recently used an e-cigarette was hospitalised with a severe lung illness and later died.

They did not provide details about the person or what device or product they used.

The mystery illness has been linked to at least 193 cases in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many of the patients are teens and young adults and symptoms include difficulty breathing, a cough, vomiting, fever, and chest pains. Many of those affected have been hospitalised and some were placed on ventilators.

“We are working with state and local health departments and the FDA to learn the cause or causes of this ongoing outbreak.”

Robert R. Redfield, CDC director

Robert R. Redfield, CDC director, said: “We are saddened to hear of the first death related to the outbreak of severe lung disease in those who use e-cigarette or ‘vaping’ devices.

“CDC’s investigation is ongoing. We are working with state and local health departments and the FDA to learn the cause or causes of this ongoing outbreak.

“This tragic death in Illinois reinforces the serious risks associated with e-cigarette products. Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms – including flavourings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents.

“CDC has been warning about the identified and potential dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping since these devices first appeared. E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”

Previously, the CDC announced there is no evidence of an infectious disease.

Patients have described vaping a variety of substances, including nicotine and cannabis-based products. The outbreak has not been linked to a single product.