Health officials confirm first vaping-related death in New Jersey

Julie Daurio, Producer | October 1, 2019 | Health Care

State health officials have confirmed the death of a northern New Jersey woman was related to vaping.

It marks the first fatality in the state associated with a growing national crisis.

“The New Jersey Department of Health is saddened to announce a death associated with this outbreak,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, who also chairs the governor’s Electronic Smoking Task Force. “This death underscores the potential dangers associated with vaping.”

The task force is weighing a potential statewide ban on vaping products.

New Jersey has now confirmed a dozen cases of lung illness related to vaping. Two more cases are classified as “probable,” including the one death, which was reported to the health department in August. Thirty-two more are under investigation.

Nationally, 13 deaths have been confirmed, with more than 800 reported cases in 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the majority of those who got sick vaped THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high.

According to state health officials, to date, none of the lung illnesses in the state are associated with products sold through the New Jersey medical marijuana program.