BOSTON — Massachusetts health officials say a third state resident has died from a vaping-related lung illness.
The state Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that a man in his 50s from Worcester County died, after telling officials he vaped both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
The agency reported the first two deaths last month — a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County and a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County, both of whom reportedly vaped nicotine.
"This disease is serious and potentially fatal and we are continuing to investigate the cause," DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a statement. The state has not said when any of the three deaths occurred.
Officials say more than 220 suspected cases of vaping-associated lung injury have been reported by doctors to the health department since September. Of those, 127 of which meet the criteria for further DPH investigation.
Federal health officials have tallied nearly 1,900 cases of vaping-related lung illness nationwide, including nearly 40 deaths.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency ban on vaping products in September in response to the lung illnesses.
Baker said he imposed the ban "to put a pause on the market and to give legislators, regulators, data scientists, health care professionals and others a chance to try and figure out just what exactly was going on here."
Material from the State House News Service and the Associated Press was used in this report.