Vape-related illnesses spark concerns for vape shops in the Chattahoochee Valley

Vape-related illnesses spark concerns for vape shops in the Chattahoochee Valley

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Health officials in Kansas say the number of people who have died from vaping-related lung issues has climbed to six.

It’s drawing attention to vape shops and stirring debates about the safety of e-cigarettes. At the end of August, the Alabama Department of Public Health sent out a health warning to those who may use electronic cigarettes, and now that another person has died, it’s causing for more investigations. Local shops are wondering what could happen to their business in the near future.

“As far as this store goes, it could cause us to close the doors and my son puts a roof over his head with this business,” says Cathy Buglioli.

She’s the owner of the Paradise Vapor shop on Highway 280 in Phenix City. It’s been at that location for years. She’s says it’s concerning for the future of vaping shops across the country due to another death that may be related to vaping.

“I’ve had one customer call me about it and I’ve had a few talk to me about it in the store. They haven’t stopped vaping, but they wanted to get information about it,” says Buglioli. She believes the illnesses are coming from products that are sold online and mixed with e-juices as well as stronger doses of nicotine in some juice products that are only recommended to be taken only once a day.

"If you hit it two or three times a day, you’re going to get way too much nicotine in your system, so between that and abusing it with THC laced containers, you’re seeing those illnesses,” Buglioli explains.

According to the CDC, there are 450 cases being investigated. The latest death is reported by Kansas health officials to be a man who was older than 50 years old who had a history of underlying health issues. He was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly. Health officials say it wasn’t clear what type of vaping product the patient was using.

"Until it’s clear about how this is being spread and what’s going on with it, we really recommend that people not use e-cigarette products, especially teenagers, young adults, and pregnant women,” says Pam Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department.

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