The Grapevine

15-Year-Old Teen Records Youngest Vaping-Related Fatality

Public health officials are again warning young people about the potential impacts of vaping on their health. The federal government recorded the youngest vaping-related fatality in the U.S. after 15-year-old died from complications because of the device. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the death of the unnamed patient in Dallas County. The teen suffered from “a chronic underlying medical condition” caused by e-cigarettes. 

It is also the county’s first death linked to vaping. Local officials said the case highlights how even short-term exposure to e-liquids could lead to serious health problems and even death. 

“Reporting a death in a teen due to EVALI is so tragic,” Philip Huang, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), said in a statement. “We are seeing that severe lung damage, and even death, can occur with just short term use of these products.”

Prior to the Dallas teen’s death, the government considered a 17-year-old from the Bronx borough of New York City as the youngest reported vaping fatality, The New York Times reported

Hospitals in the Dallas County reported 53 cases of lung illness linked to vaping in the past December, according to DCHHS. That adds to the 228 confirmed cases and two deaths associated with EVALI, or e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated lung injury, in Texas.

The number of lung injuries associated with the effects of vaping started to grow across the country in June 2019. The CDC said that in early January, there were more than 2,600 cases of EVALI. 

Vaping killed 57 people in 27 states. However, the CDC noted the number may be higher because many deaths are “currently under investigation,” TIME reported

The agency previously discovered the reason why people develop lung problems after frequent use of e-cigarette products. Vitamin E acetate appeared causing changes in the lungs that lead to injury.

The Dallas teen’s vape-related death came as a surprise to some experts because e-cigarettes are currently illegal for people younger than 18. Despite restricting its use among young people, the government said e-cigarette use increased from 3.6 million in 2018 to 5.4 million in 2019 among middle and high school students.

Vape Vaping has been linked to a number of cases of severe lung damage in e-cigarette users in the U.S. Pixabay

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