TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas health officials have now confirmed a second death related to vaping in the state.
The first death, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, related to vaping was a woman older than 50 with underlying health issues. Her death was announced earlier this month.
The second death, announced Monday, occurred in a man over the age of 50 who also had underlying health problems.
So far, Kansas has had nine probable or confirmed vaping cases, including the two deaths. All of them have been hospitalized, but five have since been released. Two are still in the hospital.
Five of those cases occurred in men; the other four in women. All range in age from 17 to 67 years old.
Kansas health officials said some of the patients involved in the nine vaping cases used only nicotine e-cigarettes, some used only THC e-cigarettes, some used only CBD e-cigarettes, and some used a combination of THC and nicotine e-cigarettes.
Nationally, according to the CDC, there have now been 530 vaping-related illnesses. Half of those patients are under 25 years old.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said the state is working to study and address the epidemic and review policy options.
Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the KDHE, has been selected to testify this week before Congress on the effects of e-cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes are unregulated, which means that we don’t know what’s in them,” Norman said in a news release. “And, of great concern to me, is that in the midst of all these illnesses being reported, the amount of young people using them is significant.”