The latest report brings the total number for deaths in the state linked to vaping to five.
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The Illinois Department of Public Heath (IDPH) said 187 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping products. Officials said they are also working with local health departments to investigate another 40 possible cases in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control published a study on Nov. 8 that suggests the vaping additive vitamin E acetate may be behind the lung infections, but have not ruled out other chemical culprits. That same component was found in numerous clinical samples of patients with EVALI, according to the CDC.
A 5th Illinoisan has died from a lung illness related to vaping. This is a full blown public health crisis, but the President and his FDA are doing nothing to address the problem. That must change soon. Lives are at stake. https://t.co/QuURHdw8v0— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) November 21, 2019
More than 80% of the people sickened by vaping in Illinois reported recent use of vaping with THC, the health department said.
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Across the U.S., there have been 42 deaths from vaping as of Nov. 13, according to the CDC. There have also been 2,172 confirmed and probable lung injuries due to vaping.
Health officials said the safest way to protect yourself against EVALI is to avoid the use of any e-cigarette or vaping product.
They remind the public that anyone who experiences any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after using e-cigarettes or vaping should seek immediate medical attention. They also recommend notifying your provider if you have vaped in recent weeks or months.
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More information about e-cigarettes and vaping can be found on the IDPH website.