Louisville officials are urging residents to stop vaping following an outbreak of a severe lung illnesses that’s been associated with e-cigarette use.
“As a public health professional, our message is simple: Vaping is not safe,” said Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Director Sarah Moyer. “The industry is not regulated by the FDA. And right now there is no way to know if a product you buy in a store [is] safer than products you buy on the street.”
And indeed, federal health agencies don’t pre-approve or test vaping ingredients for safety. Some people buy vapes in retail stores; others use e-cigarettes containing THC — the ingredient in marijuana that makes a smoker “high” — that they’ve bought either legally in states where marijuana is legal or on the black market.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said there are now more than 805 cases of these lung illnesses across 46 states. The federal agency says almost two-thirds of sickened patients are between ages 18 and 34. Another 16 percent are younger than age 18.
Moyer spoke at a press conference Monday where Mayor Greg Fischer also announced he’s looking at ways Metro government might …