Omaha Man is First Vaping Death in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials say they’re received the state’s first report of a death associated with vaping.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that the unidentified person died in May, was older than 65 years old and lived in the Omaha area. No other details were given.

Nebraska officials say there have been 12 deaths reported in 10 other states.

Nebraska currently has 11 cases of vaping-related illness and two under investigation. Officials say most are males, ranging in age from their late teens to their late 60s. Some of those affected were hospitalized.

“There’s not one specific product,” said Dr. Tom Safranek from the Nebraska Health Department. “We’re seeing a spectrum of different kinds of products leading to different kinds of illnesses.” Safranek says that the different chemicals lead to different symptoms, and different illnesses:

Some vape products may be safe, others may be harmful – and it’s almost impossible for consumers to make an informed choice because, as Safranek says, “It’s the wild west,” in terms of standardization and components between devices and formulations.

State officials say they’ve alerted local providers and advised them to consider vaping-related illnesses in patients that show respiratory problems and a history of vaping.