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: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
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