LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County public health officials announced Friday the county’s first death of a person stemming from the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, and it is believed to be the fourth such death nationwide.
Details of the death were expected to be released at a Friday afternoon news conference. Public health officials said there have been a total of 12 cases in the county of illnesses stemming from e-cigarettes, with the illness dubbed vaping-associated pulmonary injury, or VAPI.
The Los Angeles County death is believed to be the fourth connected to vaping nationally. Authorities in Indiana on Friday morning announced a vaping-related death, and deaths were previously reported in Illinois and Oregon.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Friday morning, urging people to consider refraining from the use of e- cigarettes. CDC officials said an investigation into vaping-related cases found “clinical similarities among those affected.”
“We are committed to finding out what is making people sick,” CDC director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. “All available information is being carefully analyzed, and these initial findings are helping us narrow the focus of our investigation and get us closer to the answers needed to save lives.”
According to the CDC, possible vaping-related illnesses have been reported in more than 25 states.
“While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products,” according to a CDC statement. “People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms — e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever — and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”