REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — The California Department of Public Health has confirmed to KPIX there are 67 cases of “potential cases of acute lung disease among people with a recent history of vaping” in the state.
The CDPH is testing samples submitted to officials, but cannot disclose source of the vaping products, the number of samples, nor can the CDPH break down the cases by county.
The Centers for Disease Control is currently investigating more than 450 vape related illnesses nationwide.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed one death related to e-cigarettes. The victim was said to be over 55 with a pre-existing medical condition.
The LACDPH issued a stern warning for e-cigarette smokers.
“Stop vaping now, until further information regarding lung damage and death can be understood,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA County Dept. Of Public Health Director.
“If you don’t have to vape, don’t do it right now,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, with the LA County Dept. Of Public Health.
Ricky D’Ambrosio is stepping forward in Loomis, as one of the dozens of patients sickened by vaping in California.
D’Ambrosio, 21, had been smoking e-cigrettes for the past year, but suddenly went to the hospital with acute liver failure.
Doctors placed him in a medically induced coma, and on a feeding tube. Weakened but recovering, and 30 pounds lighter, D’Ambrosio is now afraid to fall asleep at night.
“There’s definitely that question of- if i go to sleep, am i going to wake up? If I go to sleep will there be a tomorrow?” said D’Ambrosio.
Momentum against vaping is building in the Bay Area. E-cigarette sales are already banned in San Francisco and Richmond, and voters will decide on vaping ban ordinance in Livermore next year.
San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, a longtime opponent of smoking and vaping on the peninsula, is pushing for a ban on e-cigarettes sales in unincorporated San Mateo County.
“We know that it’s an issue now. And why and why further this issue and wait years forward, while thousands could be injured and more people can die?” said Canepa, “Yes, it’s an uphill battle. You’re dealing with an industry that is very well resourced, and is powerful.”
“We recognize that, but this is not about profit. This is about people’s health. And so as government officials, we need to take action, we need to make sure that we progress in such a way that is rapid. That we get ahead of the industry so that there are not new users that we have to deal with years later.”
As for D’Ambrosio, he’s now started a social media campaign called “Break The Vape”, where smokers smash a vaping device with a hammer. he says it’s all an effort to help other avoid his fate.
“I really feel like i skated decast, rewritten or redistributed