Wednesday 18 September 2019

Lung-illness death linked to 'marijuana oil' in e-cigarette

'Illinois officials last week reported what they consider the first US death linked to vaping after the person contracted a serious lung disease.' Stock Image
'Illinois officials last week reported what they consider the first US death linked to vaping after the person contracted a serious lung disease.' Stock Image

Dean Gray

A person who recently died of a severe respiratory illness had used an electronic cigarette containing marijuana oil from a legal dispensary, public health officials in Oregon said.

It was the second death in the US linked to vaping and the first tied to a vaping product bought at a pot shop.

Officials have not determined what made the middle-aged adult ill, whether the product was contaminated or whether they added something to the device after buying it, said Dr Ann Thomas, of the Oregon Health Authority.

She declined to name the brand of the product or the dispensary and said it was the only case of vaping-related illness or death in Oregon that authorities knew about.

"Our investigation has not yielded exactly what it is in this product," she said.

As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The battery-powered devices can be used to inhale a flavoured nicotine solution or a solution infused with marijuana oil.

Illinois officials last week reported what they consider the first US death linked to vaping after the person contracted a serious lung disease. They did not say if the e-cigarette contained marijuana oil.

Officials in some states have said a number of people who got sick had vaped products containing THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high.

That is a critical distinction in the Oregon case, according to the American Vaping Association, which has blamed the spate of lung illnesses on illegal vape pens containing THC.

Officials cautioned, however, that there have been respiratory illnesses diagnosed where the vaping product did not contain marijuana.

Irish Independent

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