NEW ORLEANS — A second person has died in connection to the use of vapes in Louisiana, the state department of health announced Friday.
It's the second vaping-related death reported in the state this week, and the second total.
The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the death on Friday, Nov. 22. There have also been 30 non-fatal cases reported in the state, with a combination of nicotine and THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, as the common thread, the department reported.
“One death is one too many,” Dr. Alex Billioux, assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health, said. “We urge people to recognize the dangers of vaping and to stop vaping until more is known about the specific causes of lung injuries that have been occurring in people who use vaping products.”
More than 2,000 confirmed cases of lung injury caused by vaping have been diagnosed across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that vitamin E acetate could be a potential toxin linked to the widespread outbreak of vaping illnesses in the U.S.
Vitamin E acetate is a chemical oil derived from vitamin E. CDC officials collected samples of fluid collected from the lungs of 29 ill patients from 10 different states and vitamin E acetate was found in all samples. The compound was also previously found in vaping fluid used by many who got sick. Additionally, THC was found in 23 samples and nicotine in 16 samples. No other potential toxins have been identified in the samples so far.
Officials believe the results from lab tests provide more direct evidence that the compound may be to blame for vaping illnesses.
The Department of Health recommends the following:
- Discontinue using vaping products.
- Do not purchase vaping products off the street and do not modify them or use substances not intended for use by the manufacturer.
- Youth, young adults and pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products, should not use vaping products.
- Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using vaping products.
- Adults who are vaping should not smoke combustible cigarettes as a replacement for nicotine. (E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not FDA approved as smoking cessation tools.)
- Monitor for symptoms of severe side
For more information on vaping-related illnesses in Louisiana, visit the LDH's website here.