A second death, this time in Oregon, has been linked e-cigarette use after a patient was diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness.
The death, which was recorded in July, is the second such case recently reported, with one other death in Illinois linked to e-cigarette use, or vaping. The deaths come amid an outbreak of lung disease illnesses across with the nation, with more than 200 cases reported by the end of August. Patients have checked into hospitals with symptoms ranging from shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or weight loss.
The CDC and several states are investigating the cause of the illnesses, though vaping is likely to blame. It is unknown if specific products or types of devices are causing the illnesses.
"We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses—whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself," Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at OHA’s Public Health Division, said in a statement about the vaping-related death.
The person who died in Oregon had recently used an e-cigarette containing cannabis purchased from a cannabis dispensary, which are legal in the state. The revelation that the products were purchased legally raises questions that other illnesses around the country have been linked to vape oils and juices that were modified or purchased off the street instead of a legal distributor.
Recent studies have focused on the safety of vaping, but no federal review of such products has been conducted.