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Tulare County Vaping Death Is Second In The State

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Lindsay Fox, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
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The state's second death related to vaping happened in Tulare County. Governor Gavin Newsom has since announced he wants to devote more resources to vaping awareness and limiting youth access to e-cigarettes.

A Tulare County resident is the second person to die in California from a vaping-related illness. Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County’s Public Health Official, says the man who died Saturday had been in the  hospital with respiratory problems. He had a history of vaping and smoking.

“The CDC has suggested that people not vape because of these risks, they’re unknown, it’s too dangerous, and I would say the same thing,” Haught told Valley Public Radio.

Haught says two other vaping-related illnesses have been reported by the county. She says vaping products vary in terms of levels of nicotine and other chemicals like cannabis and flavorings. 

“There are suspicions that other products are more related to these current conditions,” said Haught, referencing the pulmonary illness the man experienced. “But it’s not a hundred percent, and so I can’t say that vaping is safe.”

The County Department of Health and Human Services notes that symptoms of vape-related pulmonary injury includes shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The County is also advising that residents discard of vaping products that were not bought from a reputable dealer. 

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Monday calling on state departments to reduce vaping among youth, and to launch a $20 million statewide vaping awareness campaign.

 

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.