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Oregon health officials say 'stop vaping immediately' after second death

The Oregon Health Authority says that a second death in the state has been linked to a THC vape product.

Posted: Sep 26, 2019 4:57 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2019 6:01 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon public health officials say that people should "stop vaping immediately" after a second death in the state has been linked to vaping a THC product, according to a statement from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Although both deaths in Oregon have been linked to cannabis products and not vapes that contain nicotine, OHA's warning does not make a distinction.

“If you vape, whether it’s cannabis, nicotine or other products, please quit. These are addictive substances, and we encourage people to take advantage of free resources to help them quit," said Dean Sidelinger, MD, state health officer. “If you haven’t started vaping, don’t start.”

On Thursday evening, Governor Brown followed up the OHA's warning with a statement indicating that she would consider legal options "up to and including the temporary ban of all vaping products."

"Every preventable death is a tragedy, and absolutely unacceptable," Brown said. "My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones to this very unfortunate circumstance. We need to make sure that no other family suffers through this kind of tragedy."

Brown said that she'd directed the OHA to come up with recommendations for further steps within 24 hours.

House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) echoed the sentiments of Brown and health officials in a statement issued Thursday evening.

“Safeguarding public health has to be our number one priority," Drazan said. "I urge all Oregonians to take this advisory seriously and stop using vape products immediately until the Oregon Health Authority can properly investigate the risks.”

According to OHA, the latest death was someone who had been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms after vaping "cannabis products," but it did not say whether these products had been purchased at a legal dispensary. The agency announced the first such death on September 3, and says that there have been five total cases of injury or death in the state that are "part of a national outbreak" linked to vaping.

Nationally, there have now been more than 800 cases of lung injuries linked to vaping in 46 states and one U.S. territory. There have been twelve deaths reported in 10 states.

"Those who have fallen ill in Oregon have been hospitalized after experiencing worsening symptoms, including shortness of breath, cough or chest pain," OHA said. "CDC and the FDA have not identified a cause, but all cases have reported e-cigarette use or vaping."

People who have recently vaped and are having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately, the agency said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9636

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah236169
Marion159547
Washington149120
Clackamas79524
Umatilla6674
Union3551
Lincoln3452
Deschutes2010
Lane1963
Malheur1601
Linn1569
Polk15412
Jackson1400
Yamhill1328
Jefferson1310
Klamath1251
Benton915
Hood River880
Wasco851
Morrow821
Clatsop490
Douglas450
Josephine441
Coos420
Columbia350
Lake200
Tillamook130
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker40
Sherman20
Grant10
Harney10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

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Confirmed Cases: 250514

Reported Deaths: 6315
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Los Angeles1078063457
Riverside19450479
Orange15778360
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial6979105
Alameda6472140
Fresno562677
Kern510080
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Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
San Francisco377650
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3441108
Contra Costa343279
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271019
Kings258332
Stanislaus239144
Monterey179115
Solano147625
Merced127211
Sonoma126710
Placer78611
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4173
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1444
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo331
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
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