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First death associated with vaping-related lung injury reported in Michigan

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Posted at 2:01 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 14:01:05-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said the state has its first death associated with the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries.

According to the MDHHS, the department was notified about the death of an adult male on Wednesday, Oct. 2, and no other information about the man will be released for confidentiality reasons.

We are saddened to announce a death associated with this outbreak,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “To protect public health, we urge people to consider refraining from vaping until the specific cause of the vaping-related severe lung injuries being reported nationwide has been identified. To help with this investigation, we are reminding health care providers to report patients that may have this condition to their local health department.”

Since August, 30 confirmed or probable vaping-related lung injury cases have been reported in Michigan, all in the Lower Peninsula. Most of the people hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. The ages of the cases range from 16-67.

The CDC has reported 1,080 cases of vaping-related lung injuries in 48 states and one territory. That includes 18 deaths in 15 states, but doesn't include the Michigan death or several other deaths in other states reported to the CDC after Oct. 1.

According to the CDC, 75 percent of the cases vaped with marijuana products combined with nicotine or marijuana products alone.

The MDHHS said it is working closely with the CDC and FDA to get more information to identify the ingredients in vape materials that is making people sick. So far, no specific brand or e-liquid has been identified.

E-cigarette and/or vaping users should immediately seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever and/or nausea and vomiting.

Regardless of the investigation, MDHHS recommends the following:

  • Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street and should never modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • Youth, young adults and pregnant women should not use e-cigarette or vaping products.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
  • Adults who are vaping should not smoke combustible cigarettes as a replacement for nicotine. E-cigarettes are not FDA approved as a smoking cessation device. Free help is available for individuals who are ready to kick the tobacco habit at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).