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6th vaping-related death reported as FDA urged to take more action

Posted: 1:20 PM, Sep 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-10 15:20:29-04
6th vaping-related death reported as FDA urged to take more action

Kansas health officials confirm the death of a person in connection with an outbreak of a lung disease related to the use of e-cigarettes. It’s the sixth death reported nationwide that’s connected to vaping.

Other deaths have been reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon and Minnesota.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration is being urged to take action on vaping, especially when it comes to teen use.

Phillip Furman knows the teen vaping epidemic first hand.

"I liked the cool feeling in my throat, and the feeling that it gave me,” he says.

The 16-year-old teen is part of Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes and testified before Congress this year. He claims he bought e-cigarettes on websites without age restrictions or in stores that didn't ask his age.

“I realized it was hurting my body, and I couldn't play sports as well or just walk down the street as well,” he says.

Now, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $160 million to stop teen vaping.

“Unless we do something very rapidly, it threatens to erode decades of progress of reducing smoking amongst our kids,” says Matthew Myers, president of Tobacco Free Kids.

Myers and Bloomberg want to get flavored e-cigarettes off the market.

"We know kids who start using e-cigarettes, who have never smoked before, are far more likely to become cigarette smokers,” Myers says.

They're also want the FDA to take a closer look at vape products before they're sold.

Last week, Michigan became the first state to ban flavored e-cigs. This summer, San Francisco became the first city to ban the sale of all e-cigarettes.

But Boston University School of Public Health's Dr. Michael Siegel says a ban isn't the answer.

"We need to be encouraging adult smokers, if they are unable to quit, [to use] other methods to consider, using e-cigarettes as an alternative,” Dr. Siegel says.

However, when it comes to flavored e-cigs, Myers says there's no evidence they can help smokers quit.