DPH: Five additional vaping-related illnesses reported in Massachusetts


BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – State Public Health Officials reported five additional cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury on Monday.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, two cases were confirmed and three are probable, bringing the total in Massachusetts to 10. Out of the 10, five are confirmed and five are probable.

State health officials said among the 10 confirmed and probable cases, 50 percent of the patients are under the age of 20, 30 percent are between the ages of 40 and 49, and 20 percent are between the ages of 20 and 39.

Seven of the ten cases in Massachusetts are female and eight out of the ten have been hospitalized. The state has received 83 reports of suspected vaping related pulmonary cases since September 11.

This comes after Governor Charlie Baker announced a public health emergency and a four-month ban on sales of all vaping products in Massachusetts last week.

Victor Nieves of Holyoke said he hopes it will help young people decide to quit, “It’s kind of dangerous, a lot of young people are smoking it. They think it is safer than cigarettes but it is more dangerous. They should just stop selling it. If they didn’t sell it people wouldn’t buy it.”

At least three vape shop owners have now filed a federal lawsuit against the governor for the temporary ban he’s put in place.

“While no one has pinpointed the exact cause of this outbreak of illness, we do know that vaping and e-cigarettes are the common thread and are making people sick. The information we’re gathering about cases in Massachusetts will further our understanding of vaping-associated lung injury, as well as assist our federal partners.”

– Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel 

According to the DPH, an ingredient found in marijuana, vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was reported in half of the ten cases and vaping THC and nicotine were reported in 40 percent of the cases. Vaping nicotine was reported in the remaining 10 percent of cases.

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