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Essentia Health Confirms Vaping-Related Death in Duluth

Updated: October 16, 2019 10:40 PM

One of Minnesota's latest vaping deaths was at an Essentia facility in Duluth, the hospital confirmed. 

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State health officials said Wednesday that two more people have died due to complications from severe lung injuries from vaping.

"We can confirm that one of our patients has died as a result of vaping, but out of respect for the privacy of that patient we cannot share any additional information," Essentia spokesperson Louis St. George said in a statement.

Minnesota's first vaping related death was September 6th. The two new deaths also happened in September. The department said both people were over the age of 50.

The patients had developed difficulty breathing, which lead to hospitalizations. Investigators said that one patient vaped a number of products including illegal THC. The second patient had severe underlying conditions, and is believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.

The Commissioner of Health, Jan Malcolm, said in a statement, "We are saddened by the news of these deaths, and we are troubled that so many Minnesotans continue to suffer in this outbreak, We're working hard with our partners across the country to learn as much as we can about these injuries and deaths, and to determine what can be done to prevent them."

Commissioner Malcolm said it is particularly important to avoid vaping anything containing illegal cannabis products, as almost all of those Minnesotans who developed severe lung injuries had a history of frequent vaping of illegal cannabis.

To date, Minnesota has 73 patients classified as confirmed or probable cases of severe lung injury related to vaping.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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