BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A man in his 40s from Suffolk County is the fifth person in Massachusetts to die of a vaping-related lung illness.
According to the state Department of Public Health, the man reported vaping THC, an ingredient in marijuana, however it was not clear whether he purchased from a legal source or from the illicit market.
This follows the January death of a man from Middlesex County who reported vaping THC, the November 2019 death of a man from Worcester County who reported vaping both nicotine and THC, and the October 2019 deaths of two women from Hampshire County both of whom vaped nicotine.
Since the state began mandating that DPH report all e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung-injury (EVALI) to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 127 cases have been identified. 46 cases of EVALI have been confirmed, 81 cases are probable.
Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel sent her condolence to the family of the patient who died. "This tragedy reminds us of the dangers of vaping, and the reasons we strengthened out law regarding vaping products," Bharel said.
After Governor Charlie Baker signed an act giving DPH additional authority to regular tobacco and e-cigarettes, the Massachusetts Public Health Council approved restricted the sale of nicotine and flavored vaping products in December 2019.
The state's Cannabis Control Commission is also maintaining a quarantine order on all marijuana vaporizer products, except for technology that exclusively vapes cannabis flower. Any newly manufactured vaping products must pass tests for impermissible levels of toxicants or contaminants like vitamin E acetate and heavy metals.
DPH said it has a website to help people quit vaping and smoking, click here.