Nebraska Man Dies of Lung Disease Linked to Vaping, Nationwide Death Toll Rises to 14

The national death toll from severe lung disease linked to vaping has reached 14 after officials in Nebraska report a 65-year-old died in May from using a vaping product. It is the first known death in the state. It was not originally reported as a vaping death because in May "vaping-associated lung injuries were unreported and not tracked by public health agencies," state epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek said in a statement.

There has been what medical experts are calling an outbreak of vaping related diseases and deaths this summer, which has forced states to ramp up how they track potential vaping sicknesses. Since August, there have been 14 deaths across 11 states -- two in California, two in Kansas, two in Oregon, and one each in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, according to CNN.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is aware of at least 805 confirmed cases of serious lung injury or death resulting from the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers. It remains unclear what exactly is causing the vaping illnesses. Cases have been reported in 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to early research from the CDC into some of the 805 cases, younger people appear to be the bulk of those with lung injuries. Sixty-seven percent have been between the ages of 18-34. The overwhelming majority -- 72 percent -- have been male.

"Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine," the CDC says. "We do not yet know the specific cause of these lung injuries. The investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is linked to all cases."

Symptoms of severe vaping-related lung illness include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and abdominal pain.

Earlier this month, President Trump moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar issued a statement on Trump's plans, saying, "The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities. We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth."


As of now, no official bans have been implemented.