North Carolina

First vaping-related death in North Carolina reported, health officials say

The first vaping-related death in North Carolina was reported Thursday, officials say.

Cone Health, a hospital in Greensboro, reported that a patient died Wednesday after being admitted to the hospital for vaping-related issues, according to Doug Allred, a spokesperson for the hospital.

The patient was the eighth admitted to the hospital with vaping-related issues since August, Allred said.

Information about the patient or the circumstances has not been released, according to Allred.

There have been 40 “vaping-related incidents” this year, according to statistics released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday.

Two people in their 20s were put on life support at a hospital in Winston-Salem for serious lung issues related to vaping earlier this month, The News & Observer reported.

Doctors at the hospital believed the two illnesses resulted from “using electronic cigarettes with liquids that contain cannabis products including THC,” according to The News & Observer.

As of Tuesday, there have been 805 reported cases of “lung injury” related to vaping from 46 different states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and there have been 12 confirmed deaths in 10 different states, not including the one in North Carolina, the CDC says.

Of the cases of lung injury, most patients “reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC,” the CDC says, and 67 percent of patients were between the ages of 18 and 34.

The CDC, Food and Drug Administration and local health departments are investigating this outbreak of lung illness but don’t know what is causing it, the CDC says.

The CDC recommends that those concerned about the health risks of vaping refrain “from using e-cigarette or vaping products.”

Those that have “recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product” and experience symptoms of lung injuries should go to a doctor, the CDC recommends.

These symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain, the CDC says.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.