1. SOUNDBITE (English) Barbara Ferrer, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
"We're here today to announce the first known death of a Los Angeles County resident related to the use of e-cigarettes. Nationally deaths and lung injuries related to the use of these devices are on the rise and this is the fourth known death reported in the United States within the last two weeks. To date there have been 12 reports of vaping associated pulmonary injury in Los Angeles County residents. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health takes this threat seriously. And today we're issuing a warning to all residents about the use of these devices as potentially harmful to proper lung function. We join with the Centers for Disease Control to advise people to stop vaping now until further information about what is causing lung damage and death can be understood."
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2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer:
"This was in an older adult who had chronic underlying health conditions but is clearly believed that vaping was a probable potential cause of death in this person. What we're talking about are electronic systems which typically create an aerosol what's called a vapor. So we're not differentiating which of those products. It's just the mechanism. And oftentimes even with the use of cannabis that will be the same based liquid that is used in order to aerosolized the active ingredient."
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FILE - Marietta, Georgia - 5 May 2016
3. Various of people smoking from e-cigarette
4. Various of employee filling cartridges with e-liquid
Los Angeles – 6 September 2019
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer:
"People are coming down with some shortness of breath some cough maybe fever they could have nausea vomiting which rapidly progresses to a severe lung disease that is causing them to have to be hospitalized and receive respiratory support which could be receiving supplemental oxygen or actually being intubated and put on mechanical ventilation. For all of these cases there is a history of vaping. Interestingly, for all of these cases there is a history of using a cannabis or marijuana type product in all except for one."
Health authorities announced Friday they are investigating Los Angeles County's first known death associated with vaping a marijuana product, and 10 other cases of lung injury have been reported that are potentially linked to the use of cannabis vapes.
The disclosure came on the same day that U.S. health officials renewed calls for people to avoid vaping until they figure out why some users are coming down with serious breathing illnesses. Officials have identified 450 possible illnesses in 33 states, including at least three deaths.
In Los Angeles County, officials did not disclose the name of the deceased patient, who was described as an older adult, at least 55 years old, with chronic health conditions.
However, "vaping was a probable, potential cause of death in this person," said Dr. Muntu Davis, the county's health officer.
Overall, the county has received 12 reports of hospitalizations for pulmonary injuries related to vaping, all but one of those involving marijuana products.
For now, county health investigators have a puzzle. No specific device, brand or ingredient has been implicated in the health problems. The known cases cut across all age groups, and people in varying health conditions. The cases are not concentrated in a specific area.