* Charles Selle at the News-Sun…
If more than 400 people came down with symptoms of E. coli bacteria from tainted vegetables, state health officials would be pulling products from store shelves. Surprisingly, they continue allowing e-cigarettes to damage the lungs of Illinoisans.
The latest person to be hospitalized with a respiratory illness after using electric cigarettes — aka, vaping — is an 18-year-old Gurnee resident, Adam Hergenreder. He might be released from the hospital by now, but his lungs are those of a 70-year-old, according to his doctors.
Granted, young Adam admitted in a front-page News-Sun story last week that he’s been vaping since he was 16, and partial to mint and mango flavors. Last year, he says he began smoking sold-on-the-street “dab sticks,” THC-filled devices made for e-cigs. […]
Which is why Gov. J.B. Pritzker needs to immediately ban the use of e-cigarettes in Illinois. There’s mounting scientific evidence these devices are, putting it mildly, unhealthful. […]
Michigan’s Democrat governor didn’t wait to convene a scientific panel to issue a ban on e-cigs in the Wolverine State. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made her state the first to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to “hook children on nicotine,” the AP reported.
* Pritzker administration statement…
The Governor has convened a working group of medical and legal experts to study the scientific evidence so they can develop long-term solutions to keep Illinoisans safe and healthy. So far, this administration has worked with the General Assembly to raise the smoking age to 21 and made e-cigarettes and vaping much more difficult for young people to get their hands on.
1) When e-coli cases pop up, the government can usually trace the outbreak to its origin and then act accordingly. That simply isn’t the case here, and that’s what is unnerving some folks.
2) That “more than 400 people” number cited is nationwide, not Illinois alone. Yes, one person has apparently died in Illinois from likely vape usage, but nobody yet knows what was in the fluid or vaping device that caused this.
3) Cigarettes kill more than 1,300 people a day in this country and more than 480,000 per year. In 2017, 7.6 percent of Illinois high school kids smoked cigarettes. There is perhaps no greater health emergency tied to a specific product than that.
4) The process is moving forward…
“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “We requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us investigate these cases and they arrived in Illinois on Tuesday.”
A total of 22 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 17-38 years, have experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping, the department said. The department is working with local health departments to investigate another 12 individuals.
5) As noted, vaping is now illegal in Illinois for anyone under 21.
6) Michigan’s governor got a lot of national press for ordering the halt of all flavored vape sales, but it’s not as simple as some are making it seem…
(T)he rule will likely face court challenges and review by the state legislature.
It’s also a temporary rule, so the state legislature will have to weigh in.
* Some suburban kids are getting sick and that’s sure to set off major political alarm bells and can easily lead to rash actions which enshrine bad policy into law.
Vaping additives are problematic because consumers simply don’t know what they are ingesting. Maybe start there first, although that still won’t solve the problem with the underground market.