First vaping-related illness reported in New Hampshire

In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Only two years ago e-cigarettes were viewed as holding great potential for public health: offering a way to wean smokers off traditional cigarettes. But now Juul and other vaping companies face an escalating backlash that threatens to sweep their products off the market. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CONCORD, N.H. — The first person with a lung injury related to vaping in New Hampshire has been identified, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

The adult developed respiratory symptoms, and chest images revealed evidence of lung issues similar to other reported cases across the country.

They were hospitalized and discharged and said they had recently vaped nicotine products.

“Vaping-associated lung injury is a national problem, and unfortunately New Hampshire is the latest state to be included in the national outbreak investigation,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, an epidemiologist.

“The ongoing investigation into these illnesses has not yet identified a specific cause. And even though a majority of patients report vaping THC products, some have reported only vaping nicotine products. Until we have more information from the national investigation, no vaping is considered safe.”

As of Oct. 1, there are 1,080 lung issues reported across 48 states and one U.S. territory with 18 deaths confirmed in 15 states.

Most reported patients are younger than 35, while more than 1 in 3 are 20 years or younger. All have a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping products.

Symptoms of vaping-related illnesses include cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.