Thursday, October 17, 2019

Tennessee Health Department Reports First Death Related to Vaping

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 10:45 AM

  • Cherie Moncada |

A Tennessean has died from a vape-related lung illness, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) reported Thursday.

This is the first reported fatality related to the use of vaping or e-cigarettes in the state.

The patient suffered from a “serious respiratory disease,” according to the TDH, which did not provide any additional information about the deceased patient.

In a Thursday statement, Dr. Lisa Piercy, Tennessee Health Commissioner, offered condolences to the family and urged Tennneseans to avoid using vapes or e-cigarettes.

“We are extremely saddened by this loss of life and extend our sincere condolences to the patient’s family,” Piercy said. “We are working with partners across the country to investigate these cases of vaping-associated illnesses in Tennessee, and recommend Tenneseans consider refraining from using e-cigarettes or vaping while this investigation is underway.”

To date there have been 53 reported cases of lung illnesses related to vaping in Tennessee, according to the TDH. Most of the patients are adolescents and young adults. There have been 1,299 cases across the country, leading to a total of 26 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a cluster of pulmonary disease among people who use vapes or e-cigarettes.

Symptoms related to the illness include cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

At this time officials have not linked a single product, substance, or chemical to all of the cases. However in many cases, patients have admitted to using a vape containing THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.

TDH is continuing to provide details about its ongoing investigation into these cases and the number of affected patients here. The numbers are updated every Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

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