INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — New reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) say the recent spike in vaping lung injuries has impacted 530 people in 38 states and killed 7 people so far.
President Donald Trump is calling for a ban of flavored vaping products while the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigates. States like Michigan put a flavor ban in place. When asked about a similar ban for Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb said he will consider anything that can make a positive impact.
“I don’t want to leave any stone unturned that’s going to work,” Governor Holcomb said. “We want to be productive, not counterproductive.”
The CDC cannot determine what is causing the issues, but they believe it’s chemical exposure. Their research shows that a majority of the illnesses come from people vaping THC cartridges that are usually not sold in vape shops.
“The THC cartridges that are shipped in, they are black market,” said TJ Birdwell who owns Vapor Vice in Indianapolis.
Birdwell argues that vape shops will be impacted greatly, even if they aren’t the supplier.
“If somebody was to come in, and say, ‘Hey I got sick off this liquid,’ we could trace it back to the born on date, to the manufacturer, to the bottler,” Birdwell said of the products on his shelves.
On the counter end, the American Lung Association believes politicians should have acted sooner, and they want to see the flavored products off the shelves until further research can be done.
“I think there’s a lot of blame to go around, but unfortunately it’s the health of Americans that are bearing the brunt of that inaction,” said Michael Seilback with the American Lung Association.
The one place where vape shops and the CDC align is when it comes to smoking cigarettes. The CDC says, if you are an adult smoker using vaping products to quit smoking, do not return to cigarettes.