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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.

Cases: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
Marion16394242
Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
Umatilla685671
Deschutes507339
Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
Josephine178535
Benton174314
Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
Wasco109123
Columbia105418
Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
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