Confirmed vaping-related illnesses grow in Missouri

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FILE – In this Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 file photo, a man exhales a puff of smoke from a vape pipe at a shop in Richmond, Va. During a Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 congressional subcommittee hearing, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said she believes “hundreds more” cases have been reported to health authorities since the previous week. The CDC then put the tally at 530 confirmed and probable cases of the serious lung illnesses. Nine deaths have been reported. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Health officials in eastern Missouri have added a seventh person to the list of Missourians diagnosed with lung illnesses related to vaping.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Jefferson County Health Department says a male between the ages of 15 and 24 was diagnosed Sept. 12 with “vaping associated pulmonary injury.” Health officials in the county, which is located south of St. Louis, say there have been 22 reports of vaping-related illness in Missouri, with seven cases confirmed as of Sept. 20.

The cases come amid an outbreak of similar illnesses across the nation.

Jefferson County Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar said in a news release that vaping isn’t a safe alternative to smoking. She says “significant risks associated with the long-term impacts of vaping” are beginning to be seen

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