JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi’s state health department is reporting the first vaping-related death. Few details are being released other than the individual was younger than 30.
Four vaping-related illnesses in one week and this most recent resulting in death. It’s enough to prompt a stern warning from state health officials.
“Let’s be clear, none of these products are regulated," said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "None of them have cleared FDA. There’s no oversight of what’s in these. Sometimes you get what you think you’re buying but we know very clearly that sometimes people think they’re buying one substance and they’re getting something else. We don’t have any confidence that ANY vaping is safe.”
Thursday afternoon the Department of Health confirmed that they now know three of the four vaping-related cases indicated a history of THC vaping. THC is the property in marijuana that makes a person high.
“Nationally most of the cases have been associated with vaping some THC products but not all of the cases," added Mississippi State Department of Health State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. "Some of the cases have been nicotine only products.”
In order to fill in the blanks and better understand what’s causing the sudden spike in illness and death linked to vaping, they’re asking people to be upfront with their doctors if they vape and start having symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or nausea.
“Every bit of information we collect around these cases adds to the national knowledge for us to have a better understanding of what’s really the cause,” said Dr. Byers.
Right now, officials aren’t saying if this is the same case as the 27-year-old Smithville woman who died last week. The coroner originally said it COULD be vaping related. But autopsy results aren’t back yet. However, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics confirms it is conducting a criminal investigation concerning that case.