The death of a woman in northern New Jersey is being reported as the first death in the state associated with vaping, health officials announced Tuesday.
The death was reported to the state's Department of Health in August. It was mentioned as a report under investigation by Department of Health Acting Commissioner Judith Persichilli at the time Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of the Electronic Smoking Device Task Force on Sept. 12.
The total number of confirmed and probable cases of serious lung disease in the state has risen to 14—including two probable cases, according to health officials. One of the probable cases is the death of the woman announced Tuesday.
“The New Jersey Department of Health is saddened to announce a death associated with this outbreak. This death underscores the potential dangers associated with vaping,” Persichilli, who chairs the governor’s Electronic Smoking Device Task Force, said in a statement.
To date, there have been no reports of serious lung illness associated with products sold in dispensaries permitted by the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program.
In addition, 32 reports of severe lung illness are currently under investigation. The age range of all cases and reports under investigation is between 15 and 51 years of age, with the majority of the cases involving males, according to the NJDOH.
Nationally, there are now more than 800 confirmed and probable cases of severe lung illnesses in 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to health officials. There have been 16 deaths in 11 states.