MISSOURI, (Missourinet).– As of Thursday, 33 confirmed or probable vaping associated illnesses and one vaping related death have been reported to the state. Of the cases reported, more than half involve users ages 15-24.
Gov. Mike Parson has ordered three state agencies to develop a statewide public service campaign about the dangers of vaping among youth. The state is also doing random compliance checks this month at Missouri retailers who sell e-cigarette products. Those under the age of 18 are banned from buying nicotine vaping products in Missouri.
St. Joseph in northwest Missouri has banned all indoor use of e-cigarettes. The Smithville Board of Aldermen in western Missouri is debating whether to pull flavored electronic cigarette products from store shelves. The Columbia City Council in central Missouri is also considering a temporary ban on flavored vaping products.
Critics of vaping say kids are attracted to flavored e-cigarette products. Smithville Mayor Damien Boley tells Kansas City station KCTV the number of kids caught with vape products at school is on the rise, including students all the way down to the third-grade level.
Here is the latest information about vaping figures provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services:
Confirmed or Probable: 33
Last month, State Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams said Missouri’s vaping related illness cases reflect the national trend in the use of illegal vaping cartridges.
“If you look nationally, about 70% of those are associated with THC and illegal cartridges. The other 30% is unknown,” said Williams.
As of November 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 2,051 cases of e-cigarette use associated lung problems have been reported to the CDC from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Thirty-nine deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.