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Delaware reports first vaping-related death

James Dawson
Delaware Public Media

The outbreak of pulmonary lung illnesses among people using e-cigarettes has worsened in the First State.

State health officials confirm a Delawarean has died from a vaping-related lung injury.

They would not provide any identifying information, such as gender, age or where the individual lived. The person died in August.

Public Health Director Karyl Rattay said Delaware has 11 cases that meet the federal definition to be included in the outbreak. Ten of those involved vaping marijuana or combination of marijuana and nicotine.

Rattay said the cause of the illnesses is unknown.
"So whether it is you know, nicotine products only, or black market THC products or even legal marijuana products, the only common denominator is exposure to vaping,” she said.
Rattay said it’s unsafe to vape at all right now.
“We are concerned about vaping in general right now and until we know more we strongly recommend that individuals consider stopping vaping,” she said.
Rattay said of the 11 cases, four are confirmed and 7 are probable. Two more cases are under investigation.

Patient ages fall between 15 to 65 years old. Most are from New Castle County, with two from Kent County and one from Sussex County. Eight are men and three are women.

As of Sept. 27, 46 states have reported more than 800 cases of lung injury related to vaping - with 12 deaths nationally.

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