One person has died and dozens more cases of respiratory illness have been tied to vaping.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - An Indiana resident has died of a severe lung injury linked to vaping.
The death announced Friday by the Indiana State Department of Health is the state’s first and the country’s third tied to the use of electronic cigarettes. Previous deaths have been reported in Illinois and Oregon.
“The tragic loss of a Hoosier and rising number of vaping-related injuries are warnings that we cannot ignore,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “We know that these products typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and many cases report inhaling THC and other substances not available in commercial products. While it is unclear what substances are causing injury, when you use these products with other chemicals, you may not know everything that you’re inhaling and the harm it can cause.”
The person who died from a vaping-related illness was older than age 18, the ISDH said, but no additional details about the patient are being released due to privacy laws.
Box says the agency has confirmed eight cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping and is investigating more than 20 other suspected cases. U.S. health officials say they’ve identified 450 possible similar illnesses in 33 states.
Anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days and develops respiratory symptoms is advised to stop using the e-cigarette products and see a healthcare professional immediately.
Vaping is increasing in popularity, particularly among teenagers. The 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey found that vaping has increased 387 percent among high school students and 358 percent among middle school students since 2012. Between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students began using e-cigarettes.
The ISDH and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb have announced a $2 million plan to combat youth vaping.