2 more vaping-related deaths reported in Minnesota

Two more people in Minnesota have now died from severe lung injuries associated with vaping, bringing the total number of vaping-related deaths in the state to three, health officials said Wednesday. 

The Minnesota Department of Health reported the state’s first vaping-related death on Sept. 6. The latest two deaths also occurred in September, following complicated hospitalizations. Both patients were over the age of 50. 

Investigators determined one of the two patients had vaped a number of products, including illegal THC. The other patient had severe underlying conditions and is believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine. 

To date, Minnesota has 73 patients with confirmed or probable cases of severe lung injury associated with vaping. Health officials are reviewing an additional 32 people to see if their cases also meet the criteria for a vaping-related illness. 

Nearly all vaping-related lung injuries or deaths have involved vaping illegal THC products. Many of the patients in the cases also reported vaping other products, including nicotine. 

Nationwide, 1,300 lung injury cases and 26 deaths associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control, although the 26 deaths does not include the two in Minnesota reported on Wednesday.

Statement from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz:

“My heart is with the families, friends, and communities of these two Minnesotans. Seventy-three Minnesotans, who have experienced severe lung injury in this outbreak associated with vaping illegal THC over the past several months, is too many. In addition to these dramatic injuries, we are concerned about the long-term health impacts of vaping. The Administration is launching an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure Minnesotans know the risks of vaping and putting together bold legislative policies to tackle this crisis head on. We must ensure Minnesotans have the information, support, and resources to fight back against those profiting at the expense of our health and well-being.”