Fears after second mystery death linked to vaping in the US

A cloud of vapour from an electronic cigarette (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

A second vaping death has been reported in the US.

The victim is said to have died from severe lung disease caused by vaping, health officials in the state of Oregon said.

It is the second reported death - following an earlier fatality in Illinois in August - although the latest victim passed away in July.

in the latest incident, the victim apparently fell ill after trying a product bought at a dispensary for recreational cannabis.

Officials said the victim was "otherwise healthy and quickly became very ill".

Vaping products on sale in a shop in New York City (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

The latest death came as experts investigate a mysterious lung disease which has affected more than 200 people across the States since June.

Several of the cases involve vaping THC, the main active compound in cannabis, experts from the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDCP) said.

Oregon health official Ann Thomas said it was unclear whether the most recently reported victim's illness was caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or the vaping device itself.

Other reports in the US have linked the rash of illnesses to an oil derived from vitamin E, found in samples of marijuana products used by victims.

The cause of the mystery illness has not been identified, but all cases involve vaping in some form.

Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and some cases of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Laboratory tests are being carried out on vaping liquid samples.

The deaths - and illnesses - have led to questions regarding the safety of vaping, even though definitive cause has so far been identified.

The American Vaping Association blamed the recent illnesses on illegal vape pens containing THC, the main active compound in cannabis.

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"We do know that e-cigarettes do not emit a harmless aerosol," said Dr Brian King of CDCP

"There's a variety of harmful ingredients identified, including things like ultrafine particulates, heavy metals like lead and cancer causing chemicals," he said, along with diacetyl - a flavouring used to give a "buttery" taste that has been linked to "severe respiratory illness".

He also warned of the possibility that similar cases had been happening for a long time, but the connection between them had been missed.

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