State investigating Denver-area teen’s death that could be vaping-related

Aman exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette. (Photo: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating a teen’s death that could be related to vaping.

The person who died is an 18-year-old man from the Denver metro area.

The department said Thursday that in addition to the death, it is investigating a number of cases of lung illnesses that could be related to vaping.

Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the department, said it investigates all reported cases to determine whether they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of vaping-related lung illness.

“Confirming the cause will take significant time as we await autopsy results and additional testing,” Barbare said, adding it typically takes six to eight weeks to receive test results.

Barbare said the CDPHE cannot provide further details about the death.

If the death is vaping-related, it would be the first reported in Colorado.

Since August, there have been 11 confirmed and probable cases of vaping-related illness in Colorado. Nine of the 11 people were hospitalized.

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