TEMPERANCE, Mich. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping back from an all-out recommendation against vaping products it put out last year, but the agency is still warning against vaping.
It's now looking specifically into THC-infused products, as a new report finds a link between EVALI (e-cigarette vaping associated lung-injuries) cases and marijuana.
A local vape shop owner said the last few months have been chaotic for his business.
"It's been a little bit of an uphill battle with everything going on," said Shaun Cloum, owner of Himalaya Vape. "I've been having to continually educate my customers on what's going on."
Cloum said he's happy about the CDC's new report, but adds the industry has been falsely tied to these investigations that have not found commercial vaping products to be the main cause.
"I'm happy they did come out and say that but it's a bit too little too late at this point," he said.
Cloum stressed that while the recent law changes have not hurt his business substantially, it has hurt the industry.
Michigan's temporary ban on flavored e-cigarette and vaping products is on hold right now in the state's court of appeals. Cloum believes the recent federal law raising the buying age from 18 to 21 for vaping products will achieve the goal of the flavor ban, which is to keep these products out of the hands of kids.
"Government officials have no legs to stand on anymore in terms of banning flavors," Cloum said, "because we already raised to 21, that's as far as like getting it out of kids hands like high school seniors, 18 years old."
The CDC is still strongly warning youth, pregnant women and non-tobacco users against vaping. Other studies have linked vaping to COPD, asthma and other health conditions.
According to the latest CDC findings (January 14, 2020), there have been 2,668 cases of vaping-related illnesses. 60 deaths have been reported in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
The CDC believes vitamin E acetate is strongly connected to this outbreak but does not have enough evidence to rule out other contributing chemicals like THC.
Research shows 82 percent of vaping illness patients reported using THC products and 78 percent reported getting products from black market or non-commercial sources.
You can find the latest findings on the CDC's findings, which are continually updated, by clicking here.