MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials are reporting the state's second and third deaths due to lung illnesses caused by vaping.
The Department of Health said Wednesday both deaths involved people over age 50 who died in September after complicated hospitalizations. One had vaped several products including THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high.
The other patient had vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.
Minnesota has 73 people with confirmed or probable cases of lung illness due to vaping, and almost all had frequently vaped illegal cannabis products. Health officials have warned against vaping the products, which can be counterfeit.
The Centers for Disease Control said earlier this week at least 26 people have died nationally from vaping-related illnesses, and it's warned against any use of vaping products.
Laci Majorins is a respiratory specialist for a VA in the midwest. She says when it comes to vaping she's seen people from ages 18 to 98 doing it. She says one reason why people are hooked is they have the idea that vaping is a good alternative to smoking cigarettes. She warns the scary thing is we don't know much about vaping at all and it can be just as addicting.
"I've seen a lot of patients say they were going to quit smoking so they switched to vaping and you're just sitting inside and doing it all the time you're vaping more than you were smoking, to begin with, "Majorins said.