Updated: Kroger, Walgreens ending e-cigarette sales. Health: State confirms second vaping death; governor, health department issue health warning. Plus: Earlier local concerns about vaping.

Updated: Kroger, Walgreens ending e-cigarette sales. Health: State confirms second vaping death; governor, health department issue health warning. Plus: Earlier local concerns about vaping.

 

 

From Kroger:

“We’re discontinuing the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products, or e-cigarettes, at all store and fuel center locations due to the mounting questions and increasingly complex regulatory environment associated with these products.”

From Walgreens:

“We have made the decision to stop selling e-cigarette products at our stores nationwide as the CDC, FDA and other health officials continue to examine the issue. This decision is also reflective of developing regulations in a growing number of states and municipalities.”


Media release: Following confirmation of Georgia’s second vaping-associated death, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued a public health advisory on the risks of vaping and use of e-cigarettes.

“The safety of Georgians is my top priority,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “I applaud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Department of Public Health for their tireless work to conduct research and inform the public about this serious issue. This public health advisory will notify Georgians of the potential hazards associated with adolescent vaping and encourage youth to take proactive steps to safeguard their health and well-being. We are asking convenience stores, vape shops, and leaders in communities throughout Georgia to join us in raising awareness.”

“The increasing numbers of vaping-associated lung injury and death are clear indications of the need for people to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations and not vape,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. “The Georgia Department of Public Health is working closely with Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Education to provide education and awareness about the imminent health risks of vaping and e-cigarette use, especially among adolescents.”


The Georgia Department of Public Health has identified the state’s second death from a vaping-associated illness. The patient had a history of nicotine vaping but the case is still being reviewed to determine if other substances also may have been used. The number of vaping-associated lung injury cases in Georgia is now 14, including two deaths. About 20 possible cases are under review. Cases range in age from 18 to 68 years (the median age is 31 years), and 71% are male.

The Georgia cases were hospitalized and developed pneumonia with no known infectious cause. Symptoms of vaping-associated lung injury, which worsen over time, include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. People with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems or any of these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

More than 1,000 vaping-associated lung injuries have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including at least 18 deaths. No specific e-cigarette device or substance has been linked to all cases, although the CDC’s current investigation indicates products containing THC play a role in the outbreak.

Vaping devices and products can be obtained from stores, online retailers, from informal sources (e.g., friends, family members), or “off the street.” People who vape may not know what is in these products because they can be modified to contain a mix of ingredients including dangerous and illicit substances.People who vape should not buy vaping products off the street or modify or add any substances to them.

DPH has issued a health advisory detailing the health risks of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and vaping products. The advisory can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/vapinglunginjury.


DRUCK REPORT: Local vaping concerns

 

 

Erin Hernandez, executive vice president of the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition. Photo by Todd LaBerge, Brand Red Studios.

Once thought to be a “safe” alternative to smoking, “vaping” is becoming another major health hazard and an addiction especially among teens.

Erin Hernandez, executive vice president of the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, joined John Druckenmiller of Hometown Headlines to detail the dangers of vaping — no matter what the age of the user.
Among the disturbing trends, she says, are the number of middle and high schoolers turning to vaping as they see it as being cool. However, fedeal and state authorities currently are investigating possible cases of severe respiratory illness in some people who vape.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that “states have reported similar cases requiring hospitalization and patients being placed on ventilators… Many patients acknowledged a history of vaping nicotine and/or products containing THC, the
component in marijuana that gives the high sensation.”
Hernandez outlines the health risks and some of the consequences especially for younger users. 
She was a guest at Brand Red Studios at 4 Bale St. in downtown Rome. We thank Todd LaBerge for producing our latest podcast.
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