INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana reports two more people have died of severe lung injuries linked to a history of vaping, the state Department of Health said Thursday.
Indiana has now recorded three deaths connected to the use of e-cigarettes since Sept. 6. The department declined to provide information on the people who died.
A news release from the department said, “Indiana is currently investigating 75 cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping, a total that has doubled in the past month. The majority of the cases have occurred among individuals ages 16-29.”
Symptoms have included cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or abdominal pain.
Nationally, there have been at least 26 vaping deaths and nearly 1,300 lung injury cases. Authorities don’t know what is causing the illnesses, but said most of the victims have reported vaping products with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Dr. William Graham-Carlos, chief of medicine at Eskenazi Health, said Thursday, “These oils, when you inhale them into your lungs, they cause an intense inflammatory reaction. So, the body is doing what it’s designed to do and that’s to combat a foreign body, something that shouldn’t be in there. All this inflammation is blocking oxygen from getting from the air and into your blood stream where you need it, and that’s causing people to go into respiratory failure, ending up on ventilators and in some horrible cases end up dying.”
Several states and the federal government have announced plans to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, but so far Indiana has not announced such a plan.