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United Kingdom

Alaska teen hospitalized with vaping-related lung infection

An Alaska teenager has been hospitalized with a vaping-related lung infection, meaning there are now e-cigarette illnesses in all 50 states. 

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services announced on Tuesday that the patient, from Southeast Alaska, is in a stable condition in hospital.

The teen had been regularly vaping nicotine and THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that triggers a high, which they say they bought from a different state.

Alaska officials said they are investigating a further nine cases, but this was the first confirmed as meeting the criteria for EVALI - e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.

Global reinsurers - the firms that insure the insurers - are stepping up their warnings to life insurer clients about the risks of vaping, suggesting vapers to pay more than smokers, or be denied (file image)

'Our thoughts are with the patient and family members and we are thankful the patient is steadily recovering,' said Dr Anne Zink, Alaska's chief medical officer. 

'We are fortunate that we haven't identified a case of EVALI in Alaska until now, but it's not surprising that we have joined the rest of the nation in this outbreak. 

'This case heightens our concern about Alaskans who continue to use these products. The safest option is to not vape. 

'We encourage everyone to talk with their family and friends about the health risks associated with vaping, and if you do smoke or vape, we encourage you to talk to a health care provider about how to quit safely, or you can call Alaska's Tobacco Quit Line.' 

Prior to this report, the CDC said at least 2,000 people in 49 states had contracted EVALI. 

Alaska's announcement came as Minnesota filed a lawsuit against Juul, the market leader in e-cigarettes, over vaping-related illnesses in the state.

The lawsuit accused the firm of unlawfully targeting young people with its products to get a new generation addicted to nicotine. 

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