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1st THC vape-related death in Utah sparks criminal investigation

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State officials are launching a criminal investigation after a Utahn died from a vaping-related lung injury. (Photo: KUTV)

State officials are launching a criminal investigation after a Utahn died from a vaping-related lung injury.

The goal of the investigation is to determine where all the illegal THC is coming from.

The Utah Department of Health announced Wednesday that a Salt Lake County resident had died after vaping THC. The individual was under the age of 30 and died at their residence without being hospitalized prior to their death.

Dr. Angela Dunn says THC was found in the individual's blood.

No other information about the person's identity will be released.

Seventy-six cases of vaping-related lung injuries, with 14 other potential cases, are currently under investigation in Utah. More than 90 percent of the patients were hospitalized and many of them required intensive care treatment.

UDOH reports that 94% of the cases self-reported vaping THC products.

Health officials believe unregulated THC cartridges may be responsible for the nationwide lung-related illness outbreak. Cases have surpassed 1,000 and more than 19 people have died.

The Food and Drug Administration is analyzing products from 18 states. Neither the FDA nor the Center for Disease Control have pinpointed an electronic cigarette, vaping device, liquid or ingredient as the root of the cause.

Officials are asking the public to stop using unregulated THC cartridges until more information is collected.