First vaping death announced in Ky

Grant Boone
January 11, 2020

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services deems a vaping-related illness or death "probable" when a lung injury is believed to have been caused by vaping, but there are other health issues to contend with, such as the flu or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

There have been 43 cases of vaping-associated lung injury among county residents, all of which had to be hospitalized, health officials said.

Kentucky health officials are reporting the state's first death potentially related to vaping.

Thirteen more, including the man who died Friday, are considered "probable" but unconfirmed - cases involving lung injury and vaping but also other confounding factors, such as existing respiratory disease.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release it was notified of the death of an adult male on December 19, and would not release other information about the individual for confidentiality reasons. No local deaths have been reported. The age range is 15-67.

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The death is the third in MI, following one on October 2, 2019 and one on November 26, 2019.

The CDC has identified vitamin E acetate as closely associated with vaping-related lung injuries.

So far, no specific brand of device or e-liquid has been identified.

CDC has called vitamin E acetate as a "chemical of concern" and recommended that the substance not be added to e-cigarettes, or vaping products, while the investigation is ongoing. Adults who are using e-cigarettes are encouraged to "carefully monitor themselves for symptoms" like cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills or weight loss.

A list of services offered by the state to help Kentuckians quit using tobacco products can be found here.

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