In what is understood to be a world first, public health officials in the United States say that a patient has died of “serious lung disease” related to vape smoking.
The death was reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health, who say that the unnamed individual fell ill and was hospitalised after vaping.
At this stage, little other information is known – the IDPH has not released the patient’s name, age, home town or date of death.
There is no mention made of how long or how frequently the individual had smoked e-cigarettes prior to falling ill, or what kind of products were used.
Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control say that 193 people across 22 states have contracted “severe” respiratory illnesses after vaping.
They have not identified a “specific product or compound” that links all these cases, but they say that the severity of some illnesses is “alarming”, and their investigations are ongoing.
In a statement on this week’s vape-related fatality, CDC director Robert R. Redfield said:
“This tragic death in Illinois reinforces the serious risks associated with e-cigarette products. Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms – including flavorings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents. CDC has been warning about the identified and potential dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping since these devices first appeared. E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”