Health officials in the state of Kansas confirmed the first death caused by a serious lung disease related to using e-cigarettes or vaping. This is the sixth death of this nature reported in the country.
In a news release, health officials said that the resident was more than 50 years old with a history of health issues. The person was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly. Officials reported that they do not have complete information on the nature of the products which were used by the patient.
The national investigation did not identify any specific e-cigarette products related to the cases. Several people reported using vaping products with liquids containing cannabinoid products such as THC. It is the main ingredient present in marijuana which causes the high.
Officials in Minnesota and Los Angeles reported deaths in older persons previously. The Kansas death takes the tally for a middle-aged person to a minimum of four.
The patient in Minnesota had a history of lung problems and was hospitalized with a serious lung injury. It was related to the use of illicit THC products. The patient was more than 65 years old and died after being hospitalized for a long period of time.
The death of a middle-aged person was also reported in Oregon who died of respiratory illness due to the use of an e-cigarette that contained marijuana oil. The person had bought it at a legal dispensary and this was the first death related to a vaping product that was bought at a shop.
Deaths have also been reported in Indiana and Illinois however no information was provided about the type of products and their ages. It is now suspected that there is a minimum of 450 possible cases in 33 states where illnesses are caused due to the consumption of contaminants or counterfeit products in e-cigarettes. The possible culprits for the illnesses could be the adulterants in vaping products having THC.
For these mysterious illnesses and severe symptoms in patients, health investigators are focusing on the contaminants rather than the standard vaping products that are being used for several years. US Food and Drug Administration found an oil that is derived from Vitamin E, vitamin E acetate in cannabis products collected from the patients who fell ill. This was also found in the samples from the patients who reported illness in New York recently.
New York officials will be issuing subpoenas to three companies in the charge of selling “thickening agents” which contain high Vitamin E levels. Black market dealers have been using it to dilute the THC oil in illegal products.