A second person in the country has died after developing a severe lung illness that is believed to be linked to vaping, as health officials continue to grapple with the dangers of e-cigarette use and the exact cause of the deaths.
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Officials with the agency said the person’s symptoms were consistent with the hundreds of similar cases of respiratory illnesses that have been reported in the U.S., most of which are affecting teenagers and young adults.
Health officials recently said that while there is not one e-cigarette product involved in all the cases, many involved products that contained THC, the mind-altering substance in marijuana.
The Oregon death is the first in the country involving a vaping product with marijuana. In late August, an Illinois person died from the lung illness after using an e-cigarette.
Yet the exact cause of the deaths -- and the dangers of vaping -- remain unclear but are being investigated on both the federal and state level.
“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," said Dr. Ann Thomas, the public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority.
More than 200 possible cases of respiratory illnesses have been reported in 25 states after use of e-cigarette products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those who have suffered from the lung illness reported experiencing shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or weight loss.