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KS confirms state's first death linked to vaping
09/10/2019

(AP/MSC News)--Kansas health officials say they have confirmed the first death in the state related to an outbreak of a lung disease linked to vaping.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a news release Tuesday the recent death involved a Kansas resident over the age of 50 who had a history of underlying health issues. The unidentified patient was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly.

The state has had six reports associated to the national lung disease outbreak, including three which they believe to be confirmed or probable cases. The remaining three are still under investigation.

KDHE Secretary Lee Norman is encouraging those who use vape products to stop, at least until the cause of the mysterious illness is found. "You stop, and those around you that you love, have them stop, and maybe even one of these days you can go back to it again when we know more about it," Norman said in a video posted to the KDHE website

The national investigation has not identified any specific vaping or e-cigarette products linked to all cases. Many patients report using vaping or e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

The New York Times reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last month issued a warning to not use vaping ingredients bought on the street, and to stop modifying either nicotine or cannabis e-cigarette devices.

Kansas does not have detailed information on what types of products were used by the deceased.

Gregory Conley is the President of the American Vaping Association. In a release issued following KDHE’s release of information pertaining to the Kansas death, Conley said, "The evidence from multiple state health departments and the FDA continue to point to illicit THC oils as being the cause of this death and other tragedies across the United States.  There is a reason why the Food & Drug Administration has issued a specific warning against vaping THC, but not nicotine vaping products. Recent FDA laboratory testing has discovered nothing unusual in nicotine vaping products.” 

The Associated Press and MSC Radio News both contributed to this report. 

© Associated Press/Many Signals Communication
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