Texas is the third state in as many days to report its first vaping-related death, mirroring similar tragic news out of New York and Utah. As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed 26 deaths across 21 states, including three fatalities each in Alabama and California.
The number of confirmed and probable lung illnesses tied to vaping had also climbed to 1,299.
Texas’ Department of State Health Services did not release additional information about the victim in a news release, but the Associated Press reported that the death involved an older woman in north Texas who died last week.
The state did say that of the 95 confirmed or probable cases of lung illnesses, 25 percent involve patients under 18 years old, but they range in age from 13 through 75 years old. Officials said 76 percent of the illnesses involve males, and 88 percent have reported vaping products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
In Utah, health officials said the victim was under 30, and had also “vaped THC prior to their death.”
“This death is a sad reminder of the severity of these unexplained illnesses,” Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah Department of Health epidemiologist, said in the news release. “Based on what we know about this outbreak and what may be contributing to it, our best advice to the public is to stop vaping products that contain THC.”
The FDA had similar advice for consumers earlier this month, as federal investigators are currently looking at the more than 1,200 lung illnesses reported have also found that nearly 80 percent of cases involve a THC product. However, they have yet to pinpoint any one product or ingredient but say they are increasingly focused on thickeners and additives found in black market THC cartridges.