State Reports Third Vaping-Related Death

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A Worcester County man in his 50s was the third Massachusetts resident to die of a vaping-associated lung injury, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday morning.

The man, whom public health officials did not identify, had reportedly vaped both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. DPH had previously reported the vaping-related deaths of a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County and a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County, both of whom reportedly vaped nicotine.

“This disease is serious and potentially fatal and we are continuing to investigate the cause,” DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a statement. The state has not said when any of the three deaths occurred.

Since Sept. 11, DPH said it has received 220 reports from doctors of suspected vaping-associated lung injuries, 127 of which meet the criteria for further DPH investigation. Ninety-five investigations have been completed, and 21 confirmed and 47 probable cases have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Charlie Baker imposed a temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths. Baker said he imposed the ban “to put a pause on the market and to give legislators, regulators, data scientists, health care professionals and others a chance to try and figure out just what exactly was going on here.”

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