Government To Restrict Vape Sales After Deaths, Illnesses

Shayleigh Frank
Contributing Writer

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay

The once booming fad of vaping, or e-cigarettes, especially among young people, has now brought upon a nationwide investigation. Following vape-related deaths in multiple states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has opened its emergency operation centers to allocate more staff and resources to the investigation. 

On Sept. 26, the CDC reported there are 805 cases of people with lung illnesses linked to vaping across 46 states. The report also said 12 individuals have died as a result of vaping-related illness. 

The CDC found that most cases involved THC-based e-cigarettes. Many reports involved both THC- and nicotine-based e-cigarettes, but some individuals with the illness used only nicotine-based e-cigarettes. 

As of now, the CDC has no definitive cause of the vaping-related illness. The investigation is ongoing.

Symptoms of the “vaping illness” include a non-productive (dry) cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), fever, chills or fatigue. There have also been findings of gastrointestinal illness even before lung issues arise. These include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 

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Going forward in the investigation, the CDC has recommendations for those using or thinking of using vape products. They suggest refraining from the use of e-cigarettes and vape products in an effort to avoid illness. It is also suggested that people do not return to regular cigarettes if they are considering stopping the use of e-cigarettes. 

The CDC also warns against buying vape products, such as THC, off the street and one should not modify or add substances to the products they are using.

If you or anyone you know has used e-cigarettes and has shown the early onset symptoms of such illness, the CDC suggests you report these issues and seek medical attention.

In a response to this issue, the Trump administration announced it plans to ban “non-tobacco flavored electronic cigarettes.”  According to a statement from the Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, “The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.” 

Some students at the University of Dayton have suggested different views on this issue. A concerned student, Isabelle Mochrie, says “ I believe that juuls, or any vaping products for that matter, shouldn’t be banned. I understand people are addicted and have been getting hurt, but why aren’t we banning alcohol then?” 

Mochrie is also concerned about students who may have to suddenly quit vaping. 

“If you completely ban juuls, people will be forced to stop vaping cold turkey, and potentially lead to more doctor visits from students because of withdrawal. So maybe there’s another way to go about it besides banning them completely,” Mochrie suggested. 

The American Vaping Association has also come forth following the nationwide issue claiming the proposed ban will negatively affect several million American adults who have been using e-cigarettes to quit smoking.  

If you have a comment or a question about this national issue, you can forward your comments to franks3@udayton.edu