Vaping warning from Ohio Department of Health

Vaping Warning
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The Director of the Ohio Department of Health says there are 10 confirmed cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping and 14 more are under investigation.

The numbers tell part of the story about a health concern that the FDA and the CDC are still trying to understand what's causing it.

No single source or product has been identified. There are have been five deaths from severe lung illness tied to vaping.

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Thirty-three states have reported people who have suffered from lung illnesses.

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed two cases in Franklin County and a possible third. The age of the victims is between 16 and 26-years-old.

E-Cigarettes were told the smoking public as a safe alternative to cigarettes. The State's Health Director says she's not a believer.

"I'm not buying it, the FDA isn't buying, it's never been approved as a quitting device," says Dr. Ann Acton.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA say people who vape may be clogging their lungs with an ingredient called Vitamin E Acetate.

It's used in flavoring or with nicotine products with THC or marijuana.

Dr. Acton says when the Vitamin E is heated it's like butter than hardens in your lungs.

"Yes your lungs are being clogged with a solid material," says Dr. Acton.

But the Vaping industry says the medical community is overstating the harm, and says people who became ill from vaping were buying it off the streets, not from legitimate sellers, or not using the vape pens for the intended use.

"The issue with lung illnesses connected to vaping products is mainly due to THC oil cartridges that have manufactured and sold in an underground market," says Alex Clark, CEO of Consumer Advocates for smoke-free alternatives.

Not so says Dr. Acton.

"Actually some of the cases have been with the traditional store-bought nicotine product," she says.

"Vaping advocates say if the products are so dangerous, why are we seeing cases of illness now?

"In fact, FDA regulations prevent e-manufactures are not allowed to change the formulation of their product that's been in effect since August 2016," says Clark.

Still, Health Officials in Ohio are sounding the alarm saying vaping can cause serious health problems.

"There is no single product or agent that they can point to definitely and at this point they are saying the risk is so great that this is such a dangerous lung disease that people avoid vaping,? says Dr. Acton.

Juul, the nation,s largest provider of e-cigarette products and often a target of promoting vaping to young people, issued a statement to 10TV:

"We share these concerns about youth vaping, which is why we have taken the most aggressive actions of anyone in the industry to combat youth usage. We strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 legislation, we stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month, and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms. Most recently, we announced the deployment of technology at retail stores that automatically restricts the sale of JUUL products until a government-issued ID is electronically scanned to verify age and ID validity. This technology also limits the amount of JUUL products that can be purchased to prevent reselling or sharing to those underage, and it will soon be mandatory for all JUUL product sales across the country."

The state has free help and advice for those looking to stop smoking.