Massachusetts health officials confirmed Wednesday that a fifth person in the state had died of a vaping-related lung injury.
The patient was a man in his 40s from Suffolk County, the Department of Public Health said. The man reported vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an ingredient found in marijuana, officials said.
“My condolences go out to the family of this patient who has died from a vaping-associated lung injury,’’ Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said. “This tragedy reminds us of the dangers of vaping and the reasons we strengthened our laws regarding vaping products.”
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The announcement came after the January death of a man in his 70s from Middlesex County who reported vaping THC. In November, officials reported the death of a man in his 50s from Worcester County who reported vaping both nicotine and THC.
In November, Massachusetts became the first state to ban flavored tobacco and nicotine vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, after Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that tries to reduce the appeal of the products to young people. The law goes into effect on June 1.
Previously, in September, Baker ordered a temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products. That ban ended in December in light of the new law regarding flavored products.
Since the state began requiring clinicians to report any unexplained lung injuries to officials in September. Since then, officials say 127 cases of vaping-associated lung injury have been identified, with 46 confirmed cases and 81 probable cases reported to the CDC.