The patient, who was not identified, was over age 50 and had a “history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly.”
Though health departments in other states — namely New York — have linked some of the illnesses to Vitamin E acetate found in marijuana vaping devices, the Kansas Department of Health “does not have detailed information on what types of products were used by the deceased,” officials said in a news release.
The death marks the sixth in the nation from severe lung illness tied to vaping. There are more than 450 possible cases across 33 states, federal health officials recently said.
Siegel, a practicing internist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said he would still advise patients to vape as a way of quitting cigarettes, but noted they would still have the nicotine addiction.
"It's a Faustian deal, if I can at least get them off cigarettes on to something less dangerous," he explained, adding that it appears that the lung illnesses are linked to substances being added to vaping products to "thicken" the vapor.
Siegel agreed with the comments of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who urged the FDA to consider a recall on e-cigarettes. Romney said he was "increasingly concerned that a generation of young people has been deceived into thinking e-cigarettes are safe."
Siegel pointed to the alarming statistics on how many young people are vaping, including more than 30 percent of 12th-graders who use the products on a regular basis.
"Sitting there with a pod in their pocket heating up all day long, nicotine, nicotine, nicotine," he said. "We've replaced one epidemic, cigarettes, with another epidemic: e-cigarettes. Mitt Romney is right, it hasn't been tested."
Fox News' Madeline Farber contributed to this report.