A Hampshire County woman in her 60s has died from a vape-related illness, state health officials announced today, becoming the first person in the state to die from from the growing health emergency.
“The number of confirmed and probable cases of vaping-associated lung injury we’re seeing continues to escalate and today I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of a patient who had this illness,” said Commissioner Monica Bharel. “We are investigating these cases as quickly as possible and working with our federal partners to better understand this outbreak.”
The Department of Public Health reported the death today to the federal officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 121 suspected reports of vape-related illnesses in the state, nine cases have been confirmed and 10 are probable for meeting the CDC’s definition of vaping-associated lung injury, according to the DPH.
That number is nearly double the cases DPH reported a week ago to the CDC.
The fatality comes two weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker announced a public health emergency and a four-month statewide ban on sales of all vaping products in the state, including tobacco and marijuana.
As of October 1, a total of 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette or vaping products have been reported to the CDC from 48 states and one U.S. territory. Eighteen deaths have been confirmed in 15 states, not including the Massachusetts death reported today.
All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette or vaping products, according to the CDC, but no single product has been linked to all cases of vaping related lung injury.
First lady Melania Trump said today that companies “must stop” marketing e-cigarettes to children, saying they are addictive and dangerous.
“It is important to me that we all work to educate children and families about the dangers associated with this habit,” Melania Trump said. “Marketing this addictive product to children must stop.”