District of Columbia reports first death from vaping disease

District of Columbia reports first death from vaping disease
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The District of Columbia on Thursday reported its first death from a vaping-related illness that’s been sweeping the country.

According to new federal figures released Thursday, there have been at least 35 reported deaths in 24 states and D.C., with more than 1,600 illnesses in every state except Alaska. 

As of Oct. 22, 1,604 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette products were reported in 49 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, there were a total of 1,479 cases.

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The patients who died ranged in age from 17 to 75.

According to health officials, every patient has reported using some kind of vaping product, whether it’s nicotine, THC or both.

The CDC says it doesn't know the cause of the illnesses, and no brand or substance has been linked to all cases. THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, has been present in most of the samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products, the CDC said.  

According to the CDC, products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (like friends, family members, or illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.