According to American health officials, a sixth person has died from a serious respiratory illness linked to vaping 

The 50-year-old woman from Kansas had a history of health problems, according to NBC News.

However, doctors have said it was clear that vaping was the cause of her rapid deterioration in health.

Dr Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said: ‘She had some underlying medical illnesses, but nothing that would have foretold the fact that within a week after starting using e-cigarettes for the first time, she developed a full-blown acute respiratory distress syndrome and died.’

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, occurs when a person’s lungs fill with liquid.

Dr Norman said that the Kansas death was a warning that older adults may be at particular risk, with many recent patients across the US having been in their late 20s or 30s.

450 potential cases of lung disease linked to vaping

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there have been 450 potential cases of lung disease linked to vaping across 33 states.

It says no evidence of infectious diseases have been identified, meaning the illnesses are likely associated with chemical exposure.

No specific substance or product has been linked to all cases, though many cases involve people who reported vaping THC, marijuana’s high-inducing chemical.

In the UK, Public Health England has said that vaping is 95% safer than smoking which kills half of all of those who take up the habit.

UK scientists and campaigners are focused on e-cigarettes as a way for adults to quit smoking.