The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is pulling electronic cigarettes and vape products from on-base store shelves amid safety concerns, officials said Tuesday.
The move, which takes effect Monday, follows a plan announced last week by retail giant Walmart to stop selling the products amid concerns about links to severe lung disease, Military.com reports.
U.S. military health officials have issued an alert recommending that service members and their families refrain from vaping, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked 380 cases of severe lung disease, including six deaths, to the habit.
“Until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments to collect information on e-cigarette and vape products is complete … the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is removing these products from its assortment, effective close of business Sept. 30,” AAFES senior public affairs manager Chris Ward
The CDC posted a statement saying it’s investigating “94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping” in 14 states.
CDC is providing consultation to the departments of health in Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana, and Minnesota about a cluster of pulmonary illnesses linked to e-cigarette product use, or “vaping,” primarily among adolescents and young adults. Additional states have alerted CDC to possible (not confirmed) cases and investigations into these cases are ongoing. There is no conclusive evidence that an infectious disease is causing the illnesses. While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses.
- 94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping were reported in 14 states from June 28, 2019, to August 15, 2019 (this includes 30 cases in Wisconsin).
- The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it is available.
The cluster was first detected by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where eight previously healthy teenagers were hospitalized with severe lung damage. The rapid onset of symptoms included coughing, weight loss and significant breathing difficulties. Like Dylan Nelson, some patients even needed to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
“As the clinical team was trying to get a better understanding about what might be causing this, it became apparent that the one preceding factor was that the patients had been vaping,” says Dr. Michael Gutzeit
Michigan will become the first state in the nation to ban flavored vape products in a move Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says is aimed at protecting youth.
The ban, which will be imposed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through direction from Whitmer, prohibits online and retail sales of flavored nicotine vaping products.
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune