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Death Toll From Vaping Illness in US Climbs to 15 – Nebraska Health Authorities

© REUTERS / Adnan AbisiA man uses a vape device in this illustration pictur
A man uses a vape device in this illustration pictur - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US death toll from lung illnesses tied to the use of vaping products, particularly those containing THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, has reached 15 people, US media report.

According to Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services, the person who died was over 65 years of age. The death occurred in May, but it was only now that the exact cause was established.

"Once the problem was recognized, states quickly ramped up surveillance and found current cases, but have also discovered cases that occurred before the August outbreak," Nebraska’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Tom Safranek said in a Monday statement.

Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 12 deaths from lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use (also known as vaping). According to NBC, two more deaths have since been reported, in Oregon and North Carolina.

Over 800 Americans have fallen ill after using THC and/or nicotine vape catridges. The exact causes of the respiratory illness are still under investigation, but it is suspected that major toxicity occurs when THC and/or nicotine are mixed with other chemicals.

According to CDC, about 77% of those affected by the vaping-linked illness reported using THC-containing products. Almost 70% of the affected are male.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised people to refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping products, especially those containing THC.

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