ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man in his mid-40s who died at a St. Louis hospital succumbed to a vaping-related illness, Missouri health officials announced Thursday.

The Missouri man is the state’s first death related to an outbreak of lung disease linked to e-cigarettes or other vaping-related devices, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said. Eight vaping-related deaths have been recorded in the U.S.

The man, whose name was not released, had normal lung function before he started using e-cigarettes in May. He developed respiratory problems and was hospitalized Aug. 22 before being transferred on Sept. 4 to Mercy St. Louis, where he died this week, the health department said in a news release. Lung samples taken from the patient determined the death was related to vaping.

“We are sad to report that this illness associated with vaping has now resulted in a death in Missouri and extend our condolences to his family,” Dr. Randall Williams, health department director, said in the release. “As previously stated, we encourage Missourians to follow the CDC guidance to refrain from using e-cigarette products if you are concerned about these specific health risks, especially while the investigation is ongoing.”

The health department

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