Marijuana vapes safe from e-cigarette ban; face national scrutiny for lung illness

Officials have identified about 380 possible cases of vaping-related illnesses — and as many as six deaths — in 36 states. Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press AP
APOfficials have identified about 380 possible cases of vaping-related illnesses — and as many as six deaths — in 36 states. Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press AP

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By Amy Biolchini | abiolch1@mlive.com

Marijuana vape pens are safe from bans on flavored e-cigarettes recently announced by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and subsequently President Donald Trump — but they are facing their own set of issues.

Whitmer and Trump are trying to address a growing health epidemic of young people vaping by banning the sales of flavored nicotine e-cigarette products.

But another health emergency is emerging — and it involves marijuana vape products.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating 380 cases of lung illness reported in 36 states and one U.S. territory linked to vaping. Six deaths have also been reported. Most of those patients reported using a THC vape, though many of them have used both THC and nicotine vapes, according to the CDC.

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Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pursuing emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

In Michigan, six cases of respiratory illness related to vaping are under investigation by the state health department. Some of those cases involve individuals that have used THC vaping products, according to Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The Michigan Poison Center at Wayne State University has received reports of 11 people experiencing negative effects from marijuana vapes so far this year, according to data provided by medical director Dr. Cynthia Aaron. Six of those cases were in patients under the age of 18.

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