Department for Public Health announces first vaping-related death in Kentucky

By  | 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has announced the state's first probable fatality related to vaping.

DPH reported the fatality of a Kentuckian in its weekly online update of investigations related to e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).

Dr. Angela Dearinger, DPH Commissioner, said the fatality was a male in his late 20s. Other information is confidential to protect privacy. Dearinger said health experts can't guarantee the safety of any e-cigarette or vaping product.

DPH has been investigating reports of EVALI since September 2019.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander said vaping and using any tobacco or nicotine products is a health risk affecting the well-being of too many Kentuckians. "We are saddened to announce the death associated with this outbreak," he said. "To protect public health, we urge Kentuckians – especially young people -- to stop using all vaping products."

A recently enacted federal law raised the minimum tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21.

A list of services offered by the state to help Kentuckians quit using tobacco products can be found here.