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First vaping-related death reported in Georgia, officials confirm

The patient had a history of "heavy" nicotine vaping, but no reported history of vaping THC.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has identified the state's first death from a vaping-associated illness. 

According to the DPH, the patient had a history of "heavy" nicotine vaping, but no reported history of using THC. This death was also one of nine cases of illness related to vaping in Georgia though other cases are being reviewed. 

All patients were hospitalized and developed pneumonia with no known infectious cause. Sufferers range in age from 18 to 68 years old and 78 percent are male. They said the median age is 26.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with states to investigate more than 500 cases of vaping-associated illness. No specific e-cigarette device or substance has been linked to all cases.

Gov. Brian Kemp and DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey urge people to follow the CDC's recommendation to not use e-cigarettes or other vaping devices while this investigation is ongoing.

"Without knowing the specific cause of the vaping-associated illness, discontinuing use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices is the best prevention against becoming ill," the DPH said in a news release.

Authorities said symptoms of vaping-associated illness, which worsen over time, include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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