SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said Wednesday the state has had 70 cases of vaping-related illnesses in 21 counties and one confirmed death.
Rivkees also told members of the House Health Quality Subcommittee that illnesses have been reported in Florida for people from ages 15 to 72, with eight percent of the cases reported in children under 18.
Rivkees released the details on vaping-related illnesses on the heels of a report showing increases in the numbers of Florida children who vape. Part of what's alarming to Rivkees and other public health officials is that the 2019 Florida Youth Tobacco survey shows electronic-cigarette use is quickly growing among middle and high-schoolers.
"Twenty-five percent, one in four high school students, will have used a vape device in the past month," he said, adding, "Youth should not vape, and adults need to be aware of the fact that if they vape they can be exposed to a very significant and potentially life-threatening condition."
Meanwhile, the median age of people with vaping-related illnesses is 24.5, and more than two thirds of people who have them are male.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet determined a cause for the illnesses.