A woman in her 20s is the first person in Snohomish County to come down with a lung illness associated with vaping.
The woman was admitted to a Snohomish County hospital in August after experiencing difficulty breathing. She has since been discharged and is recovering.
She said she had used vaping products that did not appear to have been tampered with or altered and were bought from legal retailers, according to a press release from the Snohomish County Health District. The health district is not revealing whether the products she used were for consuming nicotine or THC, said spokesperson Heather Thomas.
Vaping devices, such as electronic cigarettes, heat a liquid often containing nicotine or THC to create an aerosol to inhale.
This is the sixth known case in Washington state of someone becoming ill after using a vaping product. A statewide outbreak was declared last week. Meanwhile, more than 500 cases have been reported in 38 states, and seven people have died from lung injuries related to vaping, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two of Washington state’s confirmed cases are in King County. The second King County patient, a woman in her 30s, was confirmed last week to have the illness. The woman was admitted to a King County hospital in mid-September with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County. The woman has since been released from the hospital and is recovering.
Health officials are scrambling to figure out what is causing e-cigarette users to get sick.
People using vaping products should stop doing so, Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said in a news release.
“The safety of these products is uncertain at best, and their contents are not regulated by consumer protection agencies,” he said in the release. “Just because it might be less hazardous than inhaling burning tobacco leaves doesn’t mean that it is safe.”
Most of the cases across the country have involved products containing THC, but there have been reports of people becoming ill who use only nicotine products.