Illinois patient's death may be first in U.S. tied to vaping

Close up on a man exhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette

Close up on a man exhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette

The CDC says more than 100 cases of severe lung disease possibly linked to vaping have been reported nationwide. One death has been reported in IL. On Wednesday the CDC reported more than 149 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette product use were reported by 15 states.

The CDC is now coordinating with state officials in IL and other states that have reported high volumes of these lung illnesses to the national agency to investigate if and how vaping might be causing life-threatening damage. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.

Health officials say people who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping in the weeks or months prior to these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. The 12 new cases are now under investigation.

"We are asking health care providers to look out for cases of severe respiratory illness among teenagers and young adults, and ask about recent vaping and e-cigarette use", Pedati said in the news release.

The OHA recently delivered a report to the state Legislature outlining the health risks of vaping products and e-cigarettes.

These include cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead, volatile organic compounds which can adversely affect health; ultrafine particles that can reach deep into lungs and flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical used to give butter-like and other flavors that are linked to serious lung disease.

Anyone who develops respiratory problems should stop using vaping products and see a health care provider, according to the health department. Both the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health did, however, note that a number of patients have also reported using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis.

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