A California man has become the 7th person to die after “vaping” — that is, using an electronic vaporizer machine to heat oil containing nicotine or, in many cases, cannabis, MSN reports. Meanwhile, hundreds of people across multiple states have gotten sick with severe respiratory problems after vaping.
Officials haven’t said much in the way of identifying information about the patient, such as his age or his underlying health issues (if any), and indeed have only said that he’s from Tulare County, according to a statement from that county’s Health & Human Services Agency.
As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, in early August health officials in Wisconsin and Illinois reported that just over a dozen teenagers and young adults had come down with severe respiratory illnesses after vaping. Some of the patients were so sick that they required breathing support in the Intensive Care Unit. All of the cases were clustered around the area where the Wisconsin-Illinois border ends at the east.
Little did health authorities know at the time that it was the beginning of what would eventually become a nationwide epidemic of vaping illnesses that even got the attention of the White House.
As of this writing, at least 380 people in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have suffered similar illnesses after vaping, and seven have died. At least one of the deaths has been attributed to vaping cannabis, while the rest are attributed to either cannabis or nicotine. Similarly, at least some of the illnesses are attributable to vaping marijuana, the rest to vaping nicotine.
Even Donald Trump has entered into the conversation. As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, last week the Trump administration announced plans to ban the sale of flavored nicotine oil. However, that process could take months, even if the move isn’t challenged in court by the vaping industry.
Back in California, Governor Gavin Newsom is on the same page as Trump, suggesting that banning flavored nicotine oil is, at the very least, a starting point in combating the problem.
“[Flavored e-cigarettes] should be banned,” Newsom said.
Newsom, however, admits that he lacks the power to ban them. Instead, he intends to direct the California legislature to impose a heavy tax on flavored nicotine products and to conduct a public health campaign aimed at teaching the risks of vaping. He would also like to step up enforcement efforts to track down counterfeit products.