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Indiana links its first death to vaping, third so far in country

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials say they've confirmed that a resident died from severe lung injury linked to vaping.

The death announced Friday by the Indiana State Department of Health is the state's first and the country's third tied to the use of electronic cigarettes. Previous deaths have been reported in Illinois and Oregon.

Indiana officials say the death involved person older than 18, but that no additional information about the patient will be released.

The Indiana agency says it has confirmed eight cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping and is investigating more than 20 other suspected cases. The majority of the Indiana cases have occurred among individuals ages 16-29.

More than 200 similar cases affecting teens and adults have been reported in at least 25 states. Michigan's governor moved Wednesday to make it the first state banning flavored e-cigarettes.

“The tragic loss of a Hoosier and rising number of vaping-related injuries are warnings that we cannot ignore,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “We know that these products typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and many cases report inhaling THC and other substances not available in commercial products. While it is unclear what substances are causing injury, when you use these products with other chemicals, you may not know everything that you’re inhaling and the harm it can cause.”

Dr. Box said many patients across the U.S. have developed severe symptoms that required emergency intervention and urged anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days and develops respiratory symptoms to stop using these products and see a healthcare professional immediately.

Symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
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