Third Georgia Death Linked To Vaping, E-Cigarette Users Blame Illegal Products
The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed this week the third death in the state due to vaping-associated lung illness or EVALI. More than 1,600 people have been sickened nationwide and the Atlanta-based Centers For Disease Control and Prevention continues to investigate both legal and illegal vaping products.
But vaping advocates such as Amy Mohon of Marietta believe it's not the flavors in the e-juice making people sick. She and her husband, Tony Spivey, gave up traditional cigarettes more than two years ago in favor of vapor.Amy Mohon of Marietta tells GPB's Ellen Eldridge black-market or THC-containing products are causing lung illnesses and deaths, not flavored vape liquid.
Mohon said her husband was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and doctors didn't expect him to survive long if he kept smoking.
When reports of severe lung illness started being reported, Mohon said she was surprised and couldn't believe traditional vaping could be the cause.
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"And then we started hearing about the black market THC cartridges. That is what's been causing these issues," Mohon said.
The Oct. 22 update shows a total of 1,604 cases of EVALI, including 34 deaths, were reported to CDC. Use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products in the 3 months preceding symptom onset was reported by 86% of patients.
Mohon insists her asthma and her husband's health drastically improved since making the switch.
“I don't use an inhaler anymore and I used to use the inhaler everyday," Mohon said. "So, there's got to be more chemicals in those THC cartridges than what's in a traditional vape."
Mohon and other people who use vaping products are becoming more vocal on social media about the importance of keeping flavored vape products available in the face of a possible federal ban. Using the phrase "We vape, we vote," Twitter advocates signal they may make election decisions based on the issue.
"The flavors are very important to me and, to me, if any government official is not willing to at least listen to us and hear how we feel, I don't want them in office," Mohon said.