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Florida Attorney General investigating vape sales

Department of Health reports 68 cases of EVALI

file photo
file photo

As the Florida Department of Health reports 68 cases of vaping related illnesses in the state and at least one death, Attorney General Ashley Moody has opened an investigation into 20 vape companies that sell in Florida. 

The Centers for Disease Control is continuing to recommend people to quit using e-cigarettes, or vaping products that contain nicotine.

The CDC has officially named the series of lung illnesses related to vaping, called EVALI. It's an acronym for e-cigarettes or vaping product use associated lung injury. CDC data suggests THC-containing products play a role in the outbreak. 

According to the CDC, it reported there's been 1,299 cases of EVALI with 26 deaths reported from 21 states from ages as young as 17 to 75 years old. 80% of those are under the age of 35 years old.

Based on the CDC's data, it's providing framework for health-providers from their initial assessment and evaluation to management and follow-up for people with EVALI. 

The Florida Department of Health released a report in April, noting a more than 50-percent  increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Florida high school students from 2017 to 2018. 

With nearly one in four Florida high school students admitting to vaping, Moody has launched the investigation as the vaping epidemic continues to grow.

"That is why we are acting now, and we are not waiting for the federal government to get its act together in regulating these products any longer," Moody said.

The CDC and FDA have not identified a cause related to EVALI cases. It said national and state data suggests products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources.

The CDC is recommending people should not use e-cigarette or vaping, products that contain THC or that are modified. 

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Multi-media journalist with a special interest in Georgia issues.