Ky. Dept. for Public Health reports first vaping-related death

Ky. Dept. for Public Health reports first vaping-related death
Dr. Angela Dearinger, DPH commissioner, said the death was a man in his late 20s. (Source: WIS)

KENTUCKY (KFVS) - The Kentucky Department for Public Health announced the state’s first vaping-related death.

Dr. Angela Dearinger, DPH commissioner, said the death was a man in his late 20s.

Other information is confidential to protect privacy.

Dearinger said health experts can’t guarantee the safety of any e-cigarette or vaping product. In addition to nicotine, which is an addictive substance, Dearinger said e-cigarette aerosol contains cancer-causing chemicals and ultra-fine particles that cause respiratory problems.

“Electronic cigarette use is never safe for youth or young adults,” Dearinger said.

DPH is part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

It reported the death of a Kentuckian in its weekly online update of investigations related to e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.

As of Friday, January 10, the Department said there have been 48 reports of possible EVALI.

The death is included in 13 probable cases. There are seven confirmed EVALI cases and 15 pending cases. Eleven reports were determined not to be EVALI cases. Two more cases investigated in Kentucky were residents of other states who were treated in Kentucky hospitals.

According to DPH, a probable case means that someone has a lung injury believed to be caused by vaping, but they also may have other health issues, like the flu or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

For confirmed cases, there is no other possible cause than vaping for the lung disease. A case is pending if the department is awaiting further information to make a determination.

DPH has been investigating reports of EVALI since September 2019.

The minimum tobacco-buying age was raised from 18 to 21 with a recently enacted federal law.

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