NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Public Health Department confirmed Thursday the first death in Nashville connected to the outbreak of severe pulmonary illness associated with the use of electronic cigarettes.
In a news release, the department revealed the death is that of an adult male, but no other information was immediately released.
The Metro Public Health Department said it will work with the Tennessee Department of Health to investigate the death.
“Nashville’s first death and reports of severe pulmonary illnesses outbreaks associated with vaping nationwide should be a warning about the risks of severe lung injury from using these products,” Dr. Sanmi Areola, interim Director of the Metro Public Health Department. “We will continue to monitor and investigate reports of illnesses and urge everyone to consider not using e-cigarettes and follow guidance from the CDC.”
The Tennessee Department of Health said it has received reports of 53 cases of serious lung injury among people who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping products. Six of those were in Davidson County, the Metro Public Health Department confirmed.
“We are extremely saddened by this loss of life and extend our sincere condolences to the patient’s family,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said. “We are working with partners across the country to investigate these cases of vaping-associated illness in Tennessee, and recommend Tennesseans consider refraining from using e-cigarettes or vaping while this investigation is underway.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a cluster of severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes or vape, with 1,299 cases reported as of Oct. 8 in 49 states, the District of Columbia and one U.S. territory including 26 deaths. Most of the patients are adolescents and young adults.