BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts health officials say a second state resident has died from a vaping-related lung illness. The Department of Public Health said Wednesday that the second resident was a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County.
The state previously said a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County died of a vaping-related illness. Both deaths were attributed to the use of nicotine vaping products.
“I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of a second patient from this lung injury,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel in a statement. “While we continue to work with our federal partners to investigate the cause of these vaping-associated lung injuries, we cannot at this time attribute a single substance or product to this outbreak of illness.”
The state has had 204 suspected cases of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses, 61 of which were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as confirmed or probable. A majority of the cases are occurring in people under 30.
In September, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products, which has been challenged in court. He said the ban was still necessary as the CDC cannot point to a single substance or product causing the lung illnesses.
“There are really limited answers to the questions people have about what is both causing the injury and the death,” said Gov. Baker.
Convenience store owners have rallied against the ban, calling it unfair.
“This is not a use ban. This is a brick and mortar sales ban,” said Jonathan Shaer of the New England Convenience Store Association.
Bad cough, severe shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pains are all symptoms of a vaping-related lung injury, WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall said.
“If you do vape and you develop any of these symptoms, you need to get help right away,” she said.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)