Third vaping-related death reported in Illinois

Local News

The llinois Department of Public Health is advising residents against THC based products

FILE – In this Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, a man blows a puff of smoke as he vapes with an electronic cigarette. Months into an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses, health officials in October 2019 are still looking at a wide range of products and chemicals that might be causing the severe _ and sometimes fatal _ cases. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported third vaping-related death in a news release.

The Illinois resident who had recently vaped was hospitalized with severe lung injury. 

“The unfortunate death of a third Illinois resident underscores the seriousness of these lung injuries,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “New cases continue to be reported in Illinois and across the country.”

According to IDPH, a total of 166 people in Illinois between the age of 13 to 75 years old, with a median age of 22, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping. The organization is working with local health departments to investigate another 42 possible cases in Illinois.

IDPH is advising residents not to vape or use e-cigarettes products, especially illicit THC based products as they continue to investigate the outbreak.

So far, no single compound or ingredient used in e-cigarette, or vaping products has been identified as the cause of this outbreak. According to the latest national and state findings, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak. More than 80 percent of the cases in Illinois reported recent use of THC-containing products, primarily obtained them from informal sources.  Also, almost half of these cases reported the use of nicotine-based products.

While some affected individuals experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue, others experienced gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms took from few days to several weeks to develop.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting IDPH in the investigation.

More information about e-cigarettes and vaping can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/tobacco/e-cigarettes-and-vapes

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