Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A California man has died from an illness related to e-cigarette use -- the seventh person suspected to have died from vaping.
The death of the unnamed 40-year-old man was announced Monday by the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency.
"With sadness, we report that there has been a death of a Tulare County resident suspected to be related to severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping," Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Public Health Officer, said in a statement.
Over the last few months, people in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon also died after becoming sick from e-cigarettes. In all, 380 people have suffered similar illnesses in 36 states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate investigations.
"CDC has made it a priority to find out what is causing this outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping-related injuries and deaths," CDC Director Robert Redfield said. "Activation of CDC's Emergency Operations Center allows us to enhance operations and provide additional support to CDC staff working to protect our nation from this serious health threat."
A joint investigation with the CDC and Food and Drug Administration is looking into the role vitamin E oil, or tocopheryl acetate, may have played in causing the illnesses. The oil was found in vape cartridges connected to 34 patients who got sick after using the product.
To combat the problem, private cannabis labs said they will test for vitamin E acetate.
"Long-term effects of vaping on health are unknown," Haught said. "Anyone considering vaping should be aware of the serious potential risk associated with vaping."