Sixth Person In United States Dies From Vaping-Related Illness
Kansas State Health Officer Dr. Lee Norman said in a statement. "It is time to stop vaping. If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop."
According to NBC News, the woman was over 50 with a history of health problems, but doctors have said it was clear vaping was the cause for her rapid deterioration.
Norman told NBC News: "She had some underlying medical illnesses, but nothing that would have foretold the fact that within a week after starting using e-cigarettes for the first time, she developed full-blown acute respiratory distress syndrome and died."
While many of those who have fallen ill from mysterious vaping-related issues have been in their late teens, 20s or 30s, Norman said the fact the unnamed Kansas woman was in her 50s is a reminder that older adults may also be at particular risk.
Governor Laura Kelly said in the statement: "Our sympathies go out to the family of the person who died.
"I urge Kansans to be careful. Don't put yourself in harm's way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials."
State officials in the United States are now aware of 478 suspected or confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses, a jump from 450 last week, according to NBC.
While the nationwide investigation led by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration has not been able to link the spate of illnesses with any specific products, a large percentage of those who have become ill reported using cannabis-derived vaping products with THC - while a much smaller group said they had only vaped nicotine.
Officials in Indiana, California and Minnesota have reported similar deaths linked to vaping, while previous deaths had been reported in Illinois and Oregon.
Symptoms among the cases reported include shortness of breath, fever, coughing and vomiting, and additional indicators have included headaches, dizziness and chest pain.
The Food and Drug Administration is now analysing samples for a wide range of substances and is warning people to 'think twice' before buying any vaping cartridges from any unregulated sources.
Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Centre for Tobacco Products, told the New York Times: "If you're thinking of purchasing one of these products off the street, out of the back of a car, out of a trunk, in an alley - or if you are then going to go home and make modifications to the product yourself using something that you purchased from some third party or got from a friend - think twice."
A spokesman from the American Vaping Association told Reuters: "We agree with the FDA - if you don't want to die or end up in a hospital, stop vaping illegal THC oils immediately."
They added: "If you're an adult smoker or ex-smoker who vapes store-bought nicotine products, don't listen to the activists who would rather you inhale deadly smoke than vape."
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