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Mass. Woman Dies From Vaping-Related Illness

A Massachusetts resident has died from a vaping-related illnesses.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a Hampshire County woman in her 60s died from a lung injury related to vaping. The death — the state's first vaping-linked fatality — was reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State clinicians have reported 121 suspected cases of vaping-related illnesses since mandated reporting went into effect on Sept. 11, according to a DPH statement released Monday afternoon. Of those, nine cases were confirmed by the CDC, and another 10 are considered probable.

"The number of confirmed and probable cases of vaping-associated lung injury we’re seeing continues to escalate and today I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of a patient who had this illness," said DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel. "We are investigating these cases as quickly as possible and working with our federal partners to better understand this outbreak."

DPH didn't indicate in its statement what substance the woman vaped, or what products she used.

The news comes weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency and banned the sale of vaping products on Sept. 24. Rhode Island, New York and Michigan have all banned flavored vaping products. Both Vermont and Maine are considering similar restrictions.

Two lawsuits filed by vaping businesses seek to lift the Baker administration's ban. Last week, DPH clarified that the state ban does not affect the sale of vaping products online if the products are sold to people outside of the state.

Across the U.S., there have been at least 18 other deaths in 15 other states as of Oct. 3, according to the CDC.

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Roberto Scalese Twitter Digital Producer
Roberto Scalese is a digital producer and editor. 

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