HONOLULU (KHON2) — Stop vaping. That’s what state health officials are saying after announcing it is now investigating a second possible case of lung illness this time involving an adult.
Despite the warning, the Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson says he expects to see more lung illnesses associated with vaping.
“This issue has exploded. We’re still catching up. Vaping has become very, very popular in a very small amount of time,” said Anderson.
The state’s already seen it’s first reported case involving a Big Island teenager. And now there’s possibly a second.
“We just heard about a second serious case, happened to be an adult. Again, we’ve had over 1000 cases across the country of serious lung disease associated with vaping,” said Anderson.
Hawaii also has one of the highest rates of vaping among high school and middle school kids.
“We have heard of students as young as 2nd and 3rd grade using e-cigs in the classroom,” said Chief of Chronic Disease Prevention Lola Irvin.
So state officials plan to regulate e-cigs just like regular tobacco cigarettes, which would stop online sales.
“Obviously that’s a major source of e-cig for our youth. Kids are ordering e-cigs online and selling it to their friends or others and that’s a major source for them,” said Anderson.
“We believe that e-cig should be regulated and taxed as cigarettes are so that there should be more control about where it’s sold and how it’s regulated and marketed,” said Governor David Ige.
Volcano eCigs tells us the concern has to do with illicit vape-products containing THC.
“For the state to just come out and issue a blanket warning against any and all products to me just seems dangerous because they are not specially stating what products are being linked to these illnesses,” said Volcano Owner Cory Smith. “What is the state specifically saying to the tens of thousands of people who use e-cigs as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes which is known to kill 480-thousand a people year?