School closings & delays

State announces first vaping death in Michigan

Jeremy Wong smokes an e-cigarette at The Vaping Buddha on January 23, 2018, in South San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s health department has confirmed the state’s first death caused by a vaping-related injury.

MDHHS learned of an adult male’s death Wednesday. The department isn’t releasing any other information on the death, citing confidentiality.

Since August, there have been 30 confirmed or probable vape-related injury cases reported in Michigan. The cases have been in the Lower Peninsula and most people have been hospitalized for respiratory illnesses.

The age range in these cases is 16-67.

As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,080 cases in 48 states and one territory. There have been 18 deaths in 15 states, which doesn’t include deaths reported since then.

About 75% of those cases are related to marijuana products.

Michigan’s flavored nicotine ban went into effect this week. The ban is being legally challenged in northern and West Michigan but the judges in those cases declined to grant an emergency injunction to stop it.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accuses the makers of flavored nicotine products of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to get children hooked.

President Donald Trump has also proposed a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products.

Defend MI Rights Coaltion, a group of small business owners involved in the vaping industry, released a statement on the death:

“Given the information that has come to light from the CDC, and the tragic death announced today, we implore the Governor to re-evaluate the ban in place and look to sensible regulations that will allow adults to use flavored nicotine-based vape products. More and more scientific studies, including research done by the Centers for Disease Control, are being published that show that the illnesses have arisen from black market or homemade products that contain THC – which is not sold in vape shops in Michigan. We also call on the State of Michigan to release as much information as possible about the products used by the individual who died in order for others to properly dispose of the product if it is in their possession.”

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  • Bighorse

    It is very sad that anyone has died from vaping. But consider that in the past several months, 18 people have died, not counting this victim. That’s nothing compared to the opioid problem, deaths by alcohol-induced problems, smoking death and illnesses. Why the hysteria? Because vaping has caused a drop in cigarette sales, which causes a drop in state cigarette tax revenue. Vaping, nationwide, has been a contributing factor in the fact that the Tobacco Settlement Fund – a boon to state coffers for the last 20 years – is dwindling as sales decrease, causing a decrease in the amount paid into the escrow account, thus resulting in fewer dollars distributed to the states. Not to mention that some states sold bonds in anticipation of Tobacco Settlement money which could now be in danger of having to be repaid out of the general budget by these states. I do not know if Michigan is one of those states.
    I believe this hysteria has been created by politicians desperate for their Tobacco Settlement dollars. To make such a huge deal about this while doing virtually nothing about the other more serious threats to the health of the nation is lunacy.
    Full disclosure: I am not now a vaper, nor have I ever been a vaper. I quit smoking nearly 30 years ago.

  • Matt

    Also by banning the sale of flavored vape it gives the appearance that the politicians are protecting the public. You are 100% correct they are protecting their pocket books

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