Tammie Weyker-Adkins, a public information officer for the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, told the Times the person who died in the county had other "complicating health issues," but that before dying the person had undergone weeks of treatment for a pulmonary respiratory illness that appeared to be linked to e-cigarette use.
The death marked the second in California believed to be caused by vaping. Five other deaths have been reported, all adults and at least some with pre-existing lung problems or other conditions that may have made them more susceptible.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that at least 380 cases of lung illness associated with e-cigarette use had been reported across 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Health officials continue to investigate the illnesses. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
According to the CDC, no specific product or compound has been linked to all of the cases of pulmonary illness. Agency officials have said many who got sick said they vaped THC, but some said they vaped only nicotine. Health officials are advising people not to vape at all until more is known.
Poison control officials have been concerned about exposure to vaping products, including e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, in recent years due to the high concentration of nicotine they contain compared with other tobacco products, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Association officials said that as of Aug. 31, poison control centers have managed 2,961 cases connected to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine this year. Last year, officials fielded 2,470 such cases, according to figures from the association.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.