GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its investigation of vaping-related illnesses is now focused on products containing THC.
It said most people who got sick vaped THC, the ingredient that produces a high in marijuana.
Chris Vince, with Vapors Dream in Girard, is not at all surprised the investigation has taken this turn.
“Most likely are the people not admitting because THC is illegal in most of these places, so they’re not admitting it because they don’t want to get in trouble,” he said.
A wall inside of Vince’s store includes certificates signed by former smokers who quit by switching to vaping.
“I left an executive job for this because I quit and I thought, ‘Man, this was so easy,'” he said. “I had tried everything before that. This was so easy and I wanted to help other people.”
There are more than 20 vaping-related illness cases being investigated in Ohio. The closest one is in Portage County.
Despite no local cases, Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said it doesn’t make vaping any safer.
“Some of those cartridges have two to three times the amount of nicotine that you would see in an entire pack of cigarettes in one single cartridge. It’s kind of the Wild West yet.”
There is not enough research yet to know the impact of vaping products and the FDA doesn’t regulate them.
The Ohio Health Department is following guidelines from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, recommending people stop vaping.
“Back in the day, they were selling cigarettes as relaxants and now they know how harmful it was,” Sweeney said. “Twenty years from now, we may find the same. Hopefully, it won’t take us 20 years.”
While some states move to block vaping products, Ohio hasn’t yet.
People who want to show their support for vaping are planning a rally Tuesday at the Statehouse in Columbus.