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Girlfriend of Tennessee Man Who Died after Vaping Speaks out

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The girlfriend of a man who moved to Tennessee to pursue music and tragically died due to complications of vaping spoke out.

Evhen Cameron, a Minnesota native, moved to Nashville in August to launch his music career. He left behind his girlfriend of seven months, Cory Smallwood.

Smallwood told CBS affiliate WTVF, "Evhen really wanted to get to Nashville so that he could be closer to the music scene there because there's so much going on in Nashville for musicians."

WTVF reported that Smallwood said her boyfriend suffered from anxiety and turned to vaping to curb side effects associated with his medication. She said he started vaping in July, purchasing cartridges filled with THC or CBD from dispensaries or people he trusted.

"He ended up deciding he wanted to try the cartridge because he thought it would be better for his voice," Smallwood said. "He didn't want to hurt his singing voice."

Smallwood told WTVF that Cameron started feeling ill in September with symptoms similar to the flu. She said it caught their friends and his family off guard.

"He never coughed from it, never seemed sick from it." Smallwood said. "He just one day started feeling sick out of nowhere."

He went to the hospital for a week, but they thought he was recovering.

"Doctors thought he was getting better, they thought he was going to recover from his lung injury, " Smallwood said, adding that Cameron received a chemical burn on his lungs from vaping. "We were all very confident he was going to be just fine,"

'Smallwood said. "He was looking a lot better, he was eating, he was able to keep his food down, he was getting his energy back."

Shortly after being released from the hospital, however, Cameron started having trouble breathing, she said. He passed away on Oct. 12.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there have been two confirmed deaths resulting from vaping and more than 50 reported cases of suspected respiratory illness across the state.

Smallwood said she hopes to warn people about the risks associated with vaping. "Stay away from the vapes. We thought it was safe, but it wasn't."

Copyright 2019 WVLT News via WTVF. All rights reserved.

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