A patient in Illinois is the first to die of a lung illness that has been linked to e-cigarette use and vaping, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to a report in The New York Times, the death occurred as doctors and hospitals across the country are reporting an increased number of vaping-related respiratory illnesses this summer. So far, 193 cases have been reported in 22 states including California.
Yet, health officials have not found a common link to these cases other than vaping. Many patients including some in Illinois have admitted to vaping THC, the key ingredient in marijuana, according to statements from federal and state health agencies. But officials are still trying to sort out if these illnesses are being caused by marijuana-type products, e-cigarettes or some kind of street concoction that was vaped. They are also looking into whether a contaminant or defective device may have been involved.
Serious Respiratory Illnesses
Officials with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration held a press conference to announce the death. They said the deceased patient was an adult who had vaped recently and had succumbed to a severe respiratory illness. Officials said earlier this month that many patients, most of whom were teens or young adults, had described symptoms such as breathing issues, chest pain, vomiting and fatigue.
The most seriously ill patients have suffered significant lung damage, which required them to be placed on ventilators. Some are expecting to have permanent lung damage. The patients have ranged in age from 17 to 38. The investigations into these respiratory illnesses are being handled by the state.
Consumers have been in danger with e-cigarette products due to lax regulations and in some cases, no regulators at all. There is a variety of cannabis liquids and oils that have become more widely available online and in many stores. Unsuspecting consumers face the risk of being exposed to several hazardous chemicals because the ingredients in these products may not even be disclosed. The e-cigarette market also features counterfeiters and a range of devices that can be packed with hazardous cocktails of substances.
Dangerous and Defective Products
Our product defect attorneys are also concerned about the possibility of these severe respiratory illnesses being caused by faulty or defective devices. We hope the investigations being conducted by the various state departments yield important details about why these illnesses are occurring and what is causing them.
If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of using vaping products or e-cigarettes, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.