A Belgian teen’s death reported Thursday might be the first vaping-related death in Europe.
Raphaël Pauwaert, 18, died on November 6 after developing a lung illness and falling into an artificially induced coma for nearly a month, according to de Standaard and RTL. Pauwaert’s doctors point to his e-cigarettes use, or e-cigarettes fillings, as the most likely cause of death.
The U.S. has seen 39 people die and more than 2,000 cases of vaping-related illnesses, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from November 5. The CDC is pointing to vitamin E acetate found in e-cigs, although the actual cause of vaping-related illness is still unknown. The CDC has advised people to stay away from vaping THC, a component in marijuana.
If vaping were the cause, it remains unclear whether this would be the first case in Europe. Data on vaping-related illnesses are not tracked at the EU level. Some Belgian media are reporting this is the first case in Belgium.