NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Health officials are warning teens and young adults to stop vaping after a growing number of severe lung illness cases likely related to vaping have emerged.
According to the Texas Department of Health Services, 54 cases were confirmed in the state, and another 35 possible cases are under investigation.
Several states have already banned flavored vaping products, and now Massachusetts is calling for a temporary ban on all vaping products. The situation isn’t concerning just health officials, but also owners of small businesses who sell vaping products.
“If we ban flavors, that’s just going to lead to someone making it in their garage and then also selling it,” said Rondal Uhl, the co-owner of Pipes, Papes and Vapes. He said products legally sold in stores aren’t the problem, and banning them will just lead people to turn to black market products or cigarettes.
So far, health officials have said they don’t know exactly what’s causing the mystery lung-illness affecting people across the country.
“There’s not been a single product, or brand, or type that’s really emerged as something in common among all these cases,” said Chris Van Deusen with Texas DSHS. He told CBS 11 News that most cases involve vaping THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but not every case.
Dallas County has seen the most illnesses in the state with 30 confirmed or probable cases. Van Deusen said half of the patients in the state are teenagers.
“We know that vaping has grown exponentially in the past few years among that age group,” Van Deusen said. “Is it just that, or is it something with their physiology that’s causing them to be more susceptible to this kind of illness?”
Local and state health officials are working with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine how, and if vaping is to blame.
This content was originally published here.