76-Year-Old Woman's Death Reported as County's First Vaping-Related Fatality

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The death of a 76-year-old woman has been reported as the first vaping-related fatality in San Diego, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency.

The woman died on May 24 and three other vaping-related lung injuries in young adults were confirmed in recent weeks, health officials said. They are the first cases of such lung injuries in San Diego County since 2019.

All recently reported cases of the injuries tested negative for COVID-19. However, they all reported recent use of vaping products that contained tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC).

“While our community is understandably focused on COVID-19, it is important to remember that lung injury from vaping is still a major public health concern,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. “People who vape, especially those using THC-containing products, are urged to stop.”

Since July 2019, the county has had 52 vaping-related lung injury cases in which all patients had to be hospitalized.

Local leaders voted in January to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, vaping tools and smoking products in unincorporated areas of the county. That measure will be enforced beginning July 1.

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