Local ALE agent concerned after 6 deaths linked to vaping in U.S.

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Health officials are now linking vaping to a sixth death in the country.

“It’s concerning. Every single day,” said special agent Israel Morrow with Alcohol Law Enforcement. 

The popularity of e-cigarettes among teens is hard for law enforcement to keep up with. 

“People do not know what they’re putting in their body.”

E-cigarettes are being linked to a growing number of lung-related diseases and deaths. 

The CDC says it’s currently looking at more than 450 cases.

“It’s ranging from not only adults, but it’s also from our youth all the way to adults and it’s alarming.”

The Trump Administration’s also expressing concerns as President Donald Trump held a meeting on the issue in the Oval Office Wednesday. The FDA plans to ban all flavored vaping products. 

“There’s everything from strawberry to pancake smells to everything is nice and refreshing,” said Morrow. 

Only tobacco-flavored would be allowed. The goal is to make e-cigs less appealing to kids. 

“I think that’s a good thing. I think that will take away some of the younger generation that thinks that might be a cool sort of thing,” said resident Kevin Schepinksi.

Others say kids are going to do what they want regardless and taking away flavor choices will take away from the purpose of e-cigarettes. 

“It helps me not smoke cigarettes,” said a vape user. 

Law enforcement says they support anything to keep children from smoking but knows the problem doesn’t end with flavors. 

“Any type of correction that can be made is always going to help, but we’re always going to have that battle that we’re going to face every day of are they hooked to it? Are they addicted to it?” said Morrow. 

Morrow said the company Juul has created a website where you can see where an exact smoking device was bought, which will help them crack down on illegal sales. 

Attorney General Josh Stein released the following statement in response to the FDA’s announcement that it will ban all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco:

“Children are vaping because of flavors. The FDA today took an extremely positive step forward that will protect our kids. I applaud the FDA for banning flavors. Adults who want to transition from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes can still do that.

“My lawsuits against Juul, Beard Vape, Direct eLiquid, Electric Lotus, Electric Tobacconist, Eonsmoke, Juice Man, Tinted Brew, and VapeCo. will continue as we work to hold these companies accountable for fueling a vaping epidemic among high school and middle school students.”

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