ST. PAUL — Two more Minnesotans have died due to complications from severe lung injuries associated with vaping, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday.
In an Oct. 16 news release, the Health Department said the latest two deaths involved people over the age of 50. Both died in September after complicated hospitalizations. The patients had difficulty breathing, which prompted their hospitalizations, the release said.
The first patient vaped a number of products, including illegal THC, while the second patient had severe underlying conditions and is believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.
"We are saddened by the news of these deaths, and we are troubled that so many Minnesotans continue to suffer in this outbreak," Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement. "We’re working hard with our partners across the country to learn as much as we can about these injuries and deaths, and to determine what can be done to prevent them."
While investigators remain focused on these illegal products as a primary concern, health officials cannot guarantee the safety of any vaping products, the Health Department said.
Minnesota reported its first vaping-related death Sept. 6. So far, 73 patients in Minnesota are classified as confirmed or have probable cases of severe lung injury associated with vaping. Nationwide, nearly 1,300 lung injury cases have been reported from the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products with 26 deaths in 21 states.