Sixth person dies from vaping-related illness in the US

A sixth person has died from a vaping-related illness in the US.

Officials say the Kansas woman was over 50 years old, with a history of health issues.

But doctors say it's clear vaping was the cause for her rapid decline.

"It is time to stop vaping," Kansas State Health Officer Dr Lee Norman said in a statement. "If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop."

US public health officials are investigating 450 cases of vaping-related lung illness across 33 states and one US territory. The nationwide investigation led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration has not linked the illnesses to any specific e-cigarette product.

The vaping industry has blamed the surge in the contagion on black market products, but health officials have yet to rule out any vaping devices as a potential cause.

Symptoms among the reported cases included shortness of breath, fever, cough and vomiting. Additional indicators have included headache, dizziness and chest pain.

To date, Kansas has six cases associated with the outbreak. Health officials disclosed that the individual who died was over the age of 50 and had a history of underlying health issues, according to the statement. No other information was provided to protect patient confidentiality.

"Our sympathies go out to the family of the person who died," Governor Laura Kelly said in the statement. "I urge Kansans to be careful. Don't put yourself in harm's way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials."