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Seventh person dies from vaping-related lung disease, health officials say

Investigation Of New Diseases Caused By Smoking E-Cigarettes
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A seventh person has died from a vaping-related illness, authorities said, this time in California. 

A 40-year-old man from California died over the weekend due to health complications from e-cigarettes, according to a press release from the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. The man had reportedly been sick for several weeks and suffered from a pulmonary injury associated with his vaping use. 

“The Tulare County Public Health Branch would like to warn all residents that any use of e- cigarettes poses a possible risk to the health of the lungs and can potentially cause severe lung injury that may even lead to death,” said Dr. Karen Haught, the Tulare County Public Health Officer, in the news release. “Long-term effects of vaping on health are unknown. Anyone considering vaping should be aware of the serious potential risk associated with vaping.”

According to CNN, California will launch a $20 million ad campaign about the dangers of vaping. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to curb youth vaping on Monday, which includes an initiative by the California Department of Public Health to increase enforcement on the sales of counterfeit vaping products. 

Newsom’s order would make California the third state to take major action amid youth vaping and rising health concerns. California is following New York and Michigan, which are enacting their own bans on flavored e-cigarettes. San Francisco has already banned all e-cigarette sales online and in retail stores. 

On September 11, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes nationwide and will soon issue new regulatory guidance over vapes. Azar said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started to finalize plans to take flavored e-cigarettes off of the market entirely. 

It’s still not clear when a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes would go into effect. Digital Trends reached out to the FDA for updates and will update this story if we hear back.

While only seven people have died from lung-related illnesses caused by certain vaping products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that as of September 11, there have been 380 confirmed and probable cases spanning 36 states of vaping-related diseases. 

Authorities believe certain vaping products — including THC-infused cartridges — can cause rapid and severe lung-related illnesses that ultimately lead to these deaths. 

People are reporting symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea, fever, or vomiting. 

The FDA is investigating reports that e-cigarette use could be linked to seizures or other neurological symptoms. The agency plans to implement new restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes and other forms of vaping in 2021.

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