Second Hawaii resident possibly sickened by vaping
So the state issued a health advisory to urge everyone to stop using e-cigarettes altogether.
A second person in Hawaii has reportedly become sick after vaping.
So the state is urging everyone to stop using e-cigarettes altogether.
Hawaii experts don't know what exactly is causing the rapid lung illness, but they are sure more cases will happen here. They also feel, more than likely, those cases will impact young people who vape.
The state Department of Health Director wants the message to be perfectly clear to those who vape:
"Vaping is not safe. Everyone is advised to stop using vaping products until more is known about its association with serious lung disease," said DOH Director Bruce Anderson.
A second suspected case involved a Hawaii adult who vapes. It is is being investigated to see if e-cigarettes are to blame for the rapid lung illness -- which is similar to long-time smokers lung.
"In smokers, we don't have symptoms until years down the road. It is more chronic, not smoking for 2,4,6 weeks then having this issue. Regular cigarette smokers will have it later on," said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, with the DOH EMS Division.
There have been more than 1,000 cases around the nation, the majority of them involving people vaping off-market products.
"Those from the internet, on the street or homemade. Most of the cases we've seen are using off-market products," added Anderson.
At TCA CBD Vapor in Honolulu, manager Matthew Duran said sales have dropped 40%, even though they don't sell off-market products.
"Everything brought in is us certified, all FDA regulated and come with warnings labels on them. They have to be in order for us to sell them," added Duran.
Now the state is issuing a health advisory to urge everyone to stop vaping.
"E-cigarettes and vaping products are unsafe and largely unregulated," said Hawaii Governor David Ige.
But Duran disagrees.
"That's our whole shop, people are uninformed. A lot of the problem was illegal THC cartridges, but none of the stores in Hawaii sell THC. Another impact of the health advisory is you are putting cigarettes back in people's hands," stated Duran.
A product that causes the serious lung illness hasn't been identified, but state leaders are concerned because the two largest groups of people affected have been teens and young adults aged 20-29.
Hawaii has the nation's highest rates of teen vaping use, so the Department of Heatlh Director expects to see even more cases of this outbreak in Hawaii.
"I have very little doubt we will see more cases, as they have nationwide," added Anderson.
The state will spend $1.5 million on a digital messaging campaign aimed at Hawaii youth which will start in January.
That is also when legislation calling for more state regulation of e-cigarettes and taxes will also be introduced. Some want taxes on vaping to be similar to the $3.20 levied on each regular pack of cigarettes.