KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas health officials said Tuesday the recent death of a Kansas woman over the age of 50 is connected to vaping.
Officials said that although the patient had underlying health issues, vaping lead to a hospitalization during which her condition deteriorated rapidly.
“It is time to stop vaping,” said Dr. Lee Norman, Kansas State Health officer and Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify.”
Elizabeth Silver, the managing director of the Poison Control Center at the University of Kansas Health System, said people have the misconception that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes because they don't smell or taste as bad.
"One of the pods or cartridges that's used with the vaping devices in e-cigarettes has enough nicotine in one of those small pods that's about a pack of cigarettes," Silver said. "It's a lot more concentrated, and that's dangerous because young children can get into them as well."
Investigators say they don’t have detailed information on what type of vaping products the deceased patient used, though they are investigating whether it’s connected to a larger national outbreak of vaping-related issues.
Kansas has reported six other vaping-related cases as part of the national outbreak. Three of the patients are believed to be directly related to vaping, while three others remain under investigation.
“Health officials are working hard to determine a cause and share information to prevent additional injuries,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said in the release. “As that work continues, I urge Kansans to be careful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials.”