The Florida Department of Health says a second person in Florida has died due to complications from vaping. In its most recent report on the issue, the department also reported a slight increase in the number of vaping-associated illnesses, which rose from 99 to 103 cases.
No further information was released about the Florida death. The first vaping-related death in Florida was announced in September.
In October, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced an investigation of more than 20 companies to look at how they are marketing and selling electronic cigarettes.
Moody’s office released the names of 22 companies that will be part of the investigation, with the list including a mixture of Florida-based and out-of-state firms. Among others, the list includes vaping-industry giant JUUL Labs.
The industry has drawn heavy scrutiny this year, in part because of widespread use by minors of nicotine-delivering electronic cigarettes. A report released in April by the Florida Department of Health indicated that about 25 percent of high-school students in 2018 said they vaped.
Florida lawmakers and then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 approved a law that banned the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, similar to the longstanding ban on sales of tobacco products to people under 18.
But Moody said last month that the investigation will delve into whether companies are marketing the products to teens.
“Our investigation will focus on the marketing practices and online sales strategies of these companies to determine if they have intentionally targeted minors, tempting them to vape. We will seek information to determine if the companies can support their marketing and health claims,” she said.
In addition to concerns about minors using electronic cigarettes, health officials across the country are probing lung injuries --- some fatal --- that are being attributed to vaping.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.