vaping

One person has died from a mysterious lung illness likely tied to vaping, according to state health officials.

Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay confirmed the death Wednesday, October 3, 2019, but did not provide any demographic or identifying information regarding the individual's death. 

State health officials said only that the person died in August after a lengthy hospitalization.

Delaware now has 11 cases of lung illnesses, which state health officials said meet the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of "probable" or "confirmed" cases tied to vaping.  Two additional, potential cases are also under investigation.

"No one product or device has been identified as the cause of all lung illnesses," she said. "We do know that use of vaping and e-cigarette products containing either THC alone or in combination with nicotine are reported in most cases."

"DPH strongly encourages people not to use e-cigarette products, particularly those containing THC, whether the THC products are legal or illegal."

The breakdown of the lung illnesses includes eight men and three women, ranging in age from 15 to 65 years old.  The average range of the 11 patients is 29 years old, according to state health officials. Among the individuals, eight are from New Castle County, two are from Kent County and one is from Sussex County.

Dr. Rattay said 10 of the individuals affected reported using e-cigarette products containing either THC alone or in combination with nicotine and e-cigarette products. One of the 10 cases reported vaping through the usage of medical marijuana.  

One person reported e-cigarette usage containing nicotine only.

Delaware continues to participate in a multi-state investigation into an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease.

More than 800 cases of probable or confirmed cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes or vaping are under investigation nationwide. Thus far, there have been 12 deaths, in 10 states.