1st vaping-related death reported in Connecticut: Officials

HARTFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut health officials have announced the first death associated with vaping in the state.

Governor Ned Lamont said he is working with officials from several state agencies, including the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, to ensure that all state laws regarding e-cigarettes and vaping are being strictly enforced.

"As a growing wave of vaping-related illnesses is becoming more prevalent across the country, I was saddened to learn today that tragedy has struck here at home," Lamont said. "I cannot stress enough that people should just avoid these products completely, and most especially avoid products that were purchased off the street or have been modified in any way. Very little is known in the medical community at this time about the long-term effects of vaping. Working with public health experts - and in collaboration with our neighboring states - we are in the process of developing a comprehensive, effective response to what is becoming a growing public health crisis. But I cannot stress enough - the best thing for people to do is just avoid e-cigarettes and vaping products altogether."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month its investigation into the outbreak is looking at products containing the marijuana compound THC, but further details regarding the fatal case in Connecticut were not immediately available.

What we know about vaping illness outbreak, deaths

Nationally, there are now more than 1,000 confirmed and probable cases of severe lung illnesses, with 20 fatalities in 17 states.

Health officials are urging people to stop vaping as the CDC works to investigate the link to severe lung illnesses.

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