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3rd Person From Massachusetts Dies Of Vaping-Related Illness

A third Massachusetts resident has died of a vaping-related lung injury, Department of Public Health officials announced Wednesday.

The Worcester County man was in his 50s and reported vaping both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, health officials said in a statement.

A Hampshire County woman in her 60s and a Middlesex County woman in her 40s were the first two people in Massachusetts to die from the illness, officials said previously.

The state has reported 21 confirmed cases and an additional 47 probable cases of the illness to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of the patients are under age 30.

"My condolences go out to the family of this patient who has died from a vaping-associated lung injury,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel in the statement. “This disease is serious and potentially fatal and we are continuing to investigate the cause.”

The CDC's latest analysis found there have been at least 37 deaths and nearly 2,000 cases reported nationwide.

Gov. Charlie Baker imposed a temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products last month.

A judge on Tuesday ruled that the ban is "likely invalid" as applied to medical marijuana. A group representing medical marijuana patients argued that the Cannabis Control Commission, not the Department of Public Health, is the only state agency that can regulate marijuana products.

The ban is also being challenged in court by two groups of vape shop owners who argue it's destroying their businesses.

The Baker administration estimates the ban could cost businesses up to $8 million in sales.

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Laney Ruckstuhl Twitter Digital Producer
Laney Ruckstuhl is a freelance digital producer.

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