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State announces first vaping death in Michigan

Posted: 2:21 PM, Oct 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-04 16:14:39-04

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.”