The New York State Department of Health issued statewide health advisory on August 16 to bring awareness to the health providers in the state.
Matthew Myers, the head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the illnesses underscore why the US Food and Drug Administration should be looking into e-cigarettes and their impact on health before they can be sold to the public.
"Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms - including flavourings, nicotine, cannabinoids and solvents".
The CDC has been investigating these cases for some time, but it has not been able to confirm whether or not they are directly linked to e-cigarette use. The number of cases of people reported to IDPH who have used e-cigarettes or vaped and have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms has doubled in the past week.
"We haven't specifically linked any of those ingredients to specific cases", King further stated.
Officials did not release the name of the patient who passed away, but this news follows on the heels of reports of multiple hospitalizations potentially linked to vaping and warnings from health officials.
Symptoms of the lung illnesses have included a gradual onset of cough, shortness of breath or fatigue that get worse over a period of days or weeks until the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
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Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says that federal officials in Canada are yet to experience similar reports, but that it's something that she believes health professionals should be vigilant of.
"We do know that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless so it is possible some cases may have already occurred", he said.
A spokeswoman with the IDPH told USA Today that the death of the IL man is the first vaping-related death, though an autopsy has not been released.
One theory is that illnesses may result from substances that are thought or known to be toxic in vaping products, which use heat to vaporize nicotine and other inhalants. Some have reported gastrointestinal illnesses, as well.
CDC on Friday said 22 states have reported a total of 193 potential cases of the severe lung illness, including the one case involving an IL adult who died last month. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it is available.
All of those affected have been teenagers or adults who had used an electronic cigarette or some other kind of vaping device.
"Clinicians should evaluate and treat for other likely causes of illness (e.g., infectious or other), as clinically indicated", the CDC said.