Los Angeles County officials on Thursday issued a stern warning against e-cigarettes as they announced more cases of pulmonary illnesses less than two weeks after reporting the first vaping-related death in the county.
“STOP VAPING NOW!” the county’s Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Officials said as of Thursday, the agency has received a total of 16 reports of serious pulmonary injury associated with vaping. That’s four more cases since Sept. 6.
“Nationally, there continue to be reports of people showing up in emergency departments with similar symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, and may have vomiting and diarrhea,” the news release from the county said.
#PressRelease :: Update on Lung Illnesses and Deaths Associated with E-cigarettes in LA County :: 16 reports of serious vaping-associated pulmonary injuries, one death (as of 9/19/19) :: Residents are warned to stop vaping now pic.twitter.com/NzGEmHSU5T
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) September 19, 2019
The patient whose death was reported earlier this month was using a cannabis product, L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said.
Davis described him as an older adult who had chronic underlying health conditions, but officials believe vaping was a “probable potential cause of death.”
Two out of three cases reported in the county involve individuals 25 years old or younger, and all but one said they used both an e-cigarette and a cannabis-type product. One patient reported only using flavored liquids without nicotine, THC or CBD.
While most patients in California reported buying vape gear from pop-up shops or other illegal sellers, a county statement said “no specific vendor, product or substance has been identified as the cause.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a plan to spend $20 million to raise awareness about the dangers of vaping and stop the sale of counterfeit products. The Trump administration has also moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which officials say were designed to target American children.