SPRINGFIELD (WSIL) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the death of a third Illinois resident who had recently been hospitalized with a severe lung injury and had also vaped. A total of 166 people in Illinois have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes.
The victims range in age from 13 to 75 years old, with a median age of 22. IDPH continues to work with local health departments to investigate another 42 possible cases in Illinois.
IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike:
The unfortunate death of a third Illinois resident underscores the seriousness of these lung injuries. New cases continue to be reported in Illinois and across the country. IDPH is urging Illinoisans not to vape or use e-cigarettes products, especially illicit THC based products, while we continue to investigate this outbreak.
At this time, no single compound or ingredient used in e-cigarette, or vaping products has been identified as the cause of this outbreak.
More than 80 percent of the cases in Illinois report recent use of THC-containing products, primarily obtaining them from informal sources. Additionally, almost half of the cases in Illinois have also used nicotine-based products.
At this time, health officials have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries with the only commonality among all cases being patients report the use of vaping products, including e-cigarettes.
No one device, compound, or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this lung injury.
The latest national and state findings suggest products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.