Massachusetts health officials on Monday revealed that a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County was the state’s first known vaping-related death, the latest victim in a nationwide outbreak of potentially fatal lung ailments apparently caused by the smoking products.
An initial report indicated the woman vaped nicotine, according to the Department of Public Health, which added that it is still investigating what products she used and where she purchased them. State health officials did not identify the woman or say when she died.
The death added urgency to determine the cause of an outbreak of lung injuries related to vaping, which has led to at least 1,080 illnesses and 22 deaths nationwide reported since late August, according to federal and state officials.
The illnesses have rocked the cannabis and nicotine-vaping industries. On Sept. 24, Governor Charlie Baker banned the sale of both types of vaping devices and products for four months, the toughest measure in the country. Other states, such as Rhode Island, have banned flavored electronic cigarettes.
The Hampshire County woman was among the 121 suspected cases reported to Massachusetts health officials since Sept. 11. [Read More @ The Boston Globe]