A fourth person in Massachusetts has died of a vaping-associated lung injury, state health officials announced Wednesday.
The man was in his 70s and from Middlesex County, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said. He was reported to have been vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an ingredient found in marijuana.
Since Sept. 11, the death is among the 36 confirmed cases of e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injuries health officials say they have reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Today's news is a tragic reminder that we must remain vigilant about the dangers of vaping," Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH said in a statement. "There are resources available to help people quit and we encourage anyone to use these resources."
Out of 109 confirmed or probable cases in Massachusetts that have been reported to the CDC, 55 are male and 54 are female, health officials say. Fifty-two percent are under the age of 30.
Thirty-five percent vaped only nicotine, 40% vaped only THC, and 27% reported vaping nicotine and THC, according to health officials.
In November, a man in his 50s from Worcester County who reported vaping both nicotine and THC died. A woman in her 40s from Middlesex County and a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County both died in October from vaping-associated lung injury deaths, according to health officials.
In November, Massachusetts became the first state to ban flavored tobacco and nicotine vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, after Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that tries to reduce the appeal of the products to young people. The law goes into effect on June 1.