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2 more vaping illnesses reported in Montana

2 more vaping illnesses reported in Montana

  • Updated

Two more cases of illness related to vaping have been confirmed in Montana.

The state Department of Public Health and Human Services has now identified five cases, including one death of pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes, also called vaping.

The two cases announced Monday include a person in their teens from Cascade County who was hospitalized over the summer and again this month, and a person in their 30s from Lake County who was hospitalized this month, too.

One of the people had a history of vaping nicotine and THC, while the other reported vaping THC only, the health department said.

The state health department would not release information about the person who died from vaping illness, citing privacy concerns. 

The first vaping illness in Montana was reported in September in Yellowstone County, with that person between 30-40 years old and a history of vaping nicotine and THC. The second case announced was in Gallatin County, with that person reported to be in their 20s with a history of vaping nicotine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have warned consumers to stop using THC vaping products, as lung illnesses have been reported around the country. The CDC also recommends people consider refraining from using e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.

In a statement Monday, the state medical officer Dr. Greg Holzman said more cases were expected.

“We continue to work with local public health on more investigations across the state,” Holzman said. 

The health department is also working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and public health offices around the state in investigating vaping illness.

Last week the CDC counted 1,604 case of illness from vaping, along with 34 deaths in 24 states.

The cause of the illness has not been identified, said state epidemiologist Laura Williamson, but the common thread is that people who fell sick had used vaping products. Williamson said a specific compound or ingredient has not been cited as the cause.

“Based on what is known at this time, the only way to assure that you are not at risk is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette or vaping products,” Williamson said.

In September, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock banned the sale of flavored vaping products, though a judge temporarily blocked the ban earlier this month.

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in that case.


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