TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A person in Kansas has died from the lung disease that has been linked to vaping, the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment announced on Tuesday. The individual's death is the first one reported in the state since the outbreak began.
The agency did not identify the person, only noting they are over 50 years old. The Kansas State Epidemiologist, Dr. Farah Ahmed, noted the patient did have other health issues and the symptoms progressed rapidly.
So far, six cases of the disease have been reported in Kansas and, as of last Friday, three of which have been confirmed or are considered probable cases, while the rest are under investigation. Nationwide, there were more than 450 possible cases, official said.
Many patients suffering from the lung disease report vaping or using e-cigarettes that contain cannabinoid products, like tetrahydrocannabinol.
KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said he is "extremely alarmed" about people using vaping products and says they should stop until the cause of possibly vaping-related lung-related injuries and deaths have been determined.
“It is time to stop vaping.” Secretary Norman said. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is also urging people to give up vaping and e-cigarettes. Additionally, anyone who has been vaping and is experiencing lung problems should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, and chest pain.
Help with giving up tobacco products can be found by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.