Monday, June 1, 2020

First Michigan vaping death confirmed

October 7, 2019
<p>Vape smoke rises from a table on Sept. 3 2019.</p>

Vape smoke rises from a table on Sept. 3 2019.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, or MDHHS, announced the first vaping-related death in Michigan. 

Information about the death is not being released, however MDHHS was notified that it was an adult male and that it occurred on October 2 from a vaping-related lung illness, according to an MDHHS press release. 

MDHHS is cooperating with the U.S Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get additional information about the specific chemicals making people sick, according to the release.  

While no specific brand of device or e-liquid has been identified, 75 percent of reported cases have been with marijuana products, in combination with nicotine or alone, according to the release. 

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“The cases that we have in our state are (ages) 16 to 67, so this is affecting all ages,” Lynn Sutfin, an MDHHS public information officer, said. “We are urging people to consider refraining from vaping until we know more, until specific cause of these vaping-related severe lung injuries are determined.” 

Since August 2019, there have been 30 confirmed and likely vaping-related lung injury cases in Michigan, all of which occured in the Lower Peninsula. Many have been serious respiratory illness.

As of October 1, according to the release, the CDC has reported 1,080 cases in 48 states and one territory, this included 18 deaths from 15 states not including this recent Michigan death. 

“Right now we do not have any common thread, as far as products. The best thing they can do to protect themselves is to not vape,” Sutfin said. “If they are going to continue to use the products and they start feeling ill, shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever, nasua and vomiting, (they should) immediately seek healthcare.”

Free help is available for those who are trying to quit by calling 800-784-8669.


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