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Kentucky health officials announce first probable death related to vaping

(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 5:31 PM EST
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The Kentucky Department for Public Health announced the first probable fatality related to vaping in the state Friday.

DPH said a man in his late 20s died this week. More information about the victim was not released for privacy reasons.

A probable case means someone has a lung injury believed to be caused by vaping, but they may also have other health issues, like the flu or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Confirmed cases have no other possible causes for lung disease.

Health officials said as of Friday, there were 48 reports of possible e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injuries (EVALI). The man who died was one of 13 probable cases. Seven cases are confirmed and 15 cases are pending. The rest of the reported cases were not EVALI.

“We are saddened to announce the death associated with this outbreak,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander. “To protect public health, we urge Kentuckians – especially young people - to stop using all vaping products.”

Health experts are still researching the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping products. A recently-enacted federal law raised the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

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