Health officials in California confirmed that another patient has died from a vaping-related illness – at least the seventh reported death associated with a national outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes.
The unnamed Tulare County resident died from “from complications related to the use of e-cigarettes”, according to the county Health and Human Services agency. The death was “suspected to be related to severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping,” Tulare County Public Health Officer Karen Haught said in a statement.
The death was announced Monday, the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, took executive action to crack down on e-cigarette use in the state, where at least one other vaping-related fatality has been reported, in Los Angeles County.
Heath officials in Tulare County did not disclose the patient’s age or the type of e-cigarette product this person had used. So far, the county has had three reports of pulmonary illness linked to vaping, the health department said.
The California case came a week after the death of a Kansas resident, which believed to be the sixth such death nationwide. Health officials in Indiana, Illinois, Oregon and Minnesota have also reported fatalities from sudden onset illnesses that officials linked to vaping.
Several of these cases have involved a middle-aged or older person.
At least 380 cases of lung illness have been reported, according to the last available tally from the Centers for Disease Control. All reported cases had a history of using vape pens, and most of them had reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.
However, the CDC cautiouns that health experts do not yet know the cause of these illnesses, and have not isolated a single e-cigarette product as the underlying culprit.
Officials have rushed to respond to a sudden rash of respiratory illnesses among otherwise healthy people who have used e-cigarettes or other vaping products. Last week, President Trump announced his administration would move to ban most e-cigarettes.
On Monday, Newsom ordered state officials to “reduce youth vaping consumption” and allocated $20 million for a campaign to raise awareness among youth.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Kayla Epstein, Lena H. Sun