Rate Of Vapers In Utah Six Times Higher Than US Average

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jeffrey Manzanares started vaping nicotine two years ago because he thought it would be a safe way to quit smoking. Instead, it almost killed him.

The 33-year-old construction worker spent 17 days in a Utah hospital last month when he came down with a lung illness after vaping nicotine and THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana. He lost 50 pounds.

He’s back at work now and on the mend, but he swears he’ll never touch a vaping pipe again. He offers a warning for anyone he sees vaping: “Hey, that almost killed me.”

“I want people to know stuff you see on the news is not a joke. I was literally almost dead,” Manzanares said. “It’s not a safer alternative.”

He is one of 109 people who have suffered vaping-related lung illnesses in the state, according to an updated tally Monday from the Utah Department of Health.

Utah has one of the 34 deaths reported nationwide in the outbreak, and the state’s rate of 26 vaping-related illness cases per 1 million people as of mid-October was more than six times the national rate, according to

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