An East Alabama man is the state’s first confirmed death linked to a vaping-related illness, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) confirmed Wednesday.

The death comes as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigates more than 805 lung injury cases in the United States. Excluding Alabama’s death, 12 people have died across the nation.

Two-Thirds of the cases under investigation by the CDC involve patients ages 18-34 years old. To date, there are 19 Alabama residents involved.

“The use of any tobacco product is unsafe,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “While this current outbreak is being investigated, the safest option is to refrain from using any e-cigarette or vape product.”

ADPH advises everyone seeking medical attention for vaping-related illnesses to tell their healthcare provider about their vaping / e-cigarette history.

Symptoms associated with vaping injuries have included cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms worsening before admission to the hospital is necessary.

ADPH also advises consumers to refrain from buying vaping products off the street or from an unregulated source.

If you seek medical care for a vaping-related injury or have a product that ADPH can test, contact Jamey Durham at (334) 206-5634.

For more information on electronic cigarettes and their health effects, visit here.

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