TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed Tuesday that a person has died due to an outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes.
Health officials said the individual was a Kansas resident who was older than 50.
“The patient had a history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly,” a news release said.
State health officials said they do not have a detailed list of the products that the individual used. They did say many patients report using vaping or e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol.
“Our sympathies go out to the family of the person who died,” Governor Laura Kelly said in the statement. “Health officials are working hard to determine a cause and share information to prevent additional injuries. As that work continues, I urge Kansans to be careful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials.”
Kansas State Health Officer and Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman added in that release that it is time to stop vaping.
“If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop,” Norman said. “The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify. I’m extremely alarmed for the health and safety of Kansans who are using vaping products and urge them to stop until we can determine the cause of vaping related lung injuries and death.”
So far, there have been six reports associated with the outbreak in Kansas. Three have been confirmed or listed as probable while the other three are still under investigation.
Symptoms of the outbreak include shortness of breath, fever, cough, and vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms reported by some patients included headache, dizziness and chest pain.
For individuals wanting more information on how to quit tobacco products, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.