US Health Officials Say First Patient Has Died Due To Illness Caused By Vaping
Health officials in the US have announced the first death of a person due to an illness caused by vaping.
The unnamed patient from Illinois was said to have developed a severe respiratory disease after using e-cigarettes. As yet, the person's age or gender have not been revealed.
Dr Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer and state epidemiologist in Illinois, said the patient was taken to hospital with an 'unexplained illness after reported vaping or e-cigarette use'.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement: "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."
He added: "This tragic death in Illinois reinforces the serious risks associated with e-cigarette products."
US authorities are now reportedly investigating a 'mystery lung disease' spread throughout the country, according to the BBC.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have said there are '193 potential cases' across 22 states in the US since late June.
In Illinois there have been 22 reported cases of 'respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes in vaping', prompting officials to warn people about their use of vapes.
Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said: "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."
Experts have said many of the cases involve vaping THC - a compound found in cannabis.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's head of non-infectious diseases, Dr Ileana Arias said: "In many cases, patients have acknowledged recent use of THC-containing product."
As yet, the cause of the illness hasn't been identified, but the cases do all involve vaping. The link - if there is one - to THC has also not been made clear at the moment.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, released a statement to say he was 'confident' the illnesses were related to vaping devices that contained cannabis or 'synthetic drugs' and not nicotine.
Featured Image Credit: PA