Minnesota officials report state’s 1st vaping death

Published 9:36 am Saturday, September 7, 2019

ST. PAUL  — Minnesota health officials are reporting the state’s first vaping death amid a national outbreak of serious lung illnesses linked to the practice.

The state health department says the victim was more than 65 years and had a history of lung disease. State epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield says the state began looking at the case after the patient died and found the lung injury was associated with vaping THC products.

THC is the high-inducing component of marijuana, and many of the vaping illnesses around the country have been linked to use of THC-laden liquids.

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Minnesota has 17 people with confirmed or probable cases of vaping-related lung injury. Another 15 possible cases are under investigation.

U.S. health officials said Friday they have identified 450 possible cases in 33 states, including three deaths in Illinois, Indiana and Oregon.