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Vaping Illness on Rise in Florida

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Department of Defense
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida saw the number of reported vaping-related illnesses increase to 78 as of Oct. 26, according to the state Department of Health.

The latest data shows an increase of eight cases this week, according to a News Service of Florida analysis. The number of deaths associated with the lung illnesses remained at one.

The nation had 1,888 lung-injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping, as of Oct. 29, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. Every state but Alaska has had at least one reported case of the vaping-related illness, which has caused 37 deaths in 24 states, according to the CDC website.

The federal government announced Monday that THC products are playing an important role in the multistate outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and recommended that people not use vaping devices that contain THC, the compound in marijuana that causes a euphoric feeling.

The Thursday report from the CDC warned that the latest national and state findings “suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources … are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.”

Recreational marijuana is not legal in Florida, but medical marijuana is. Florida Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees has advised that patients who vape legal medical marijuana should have a conversation with their physicians to “determine what is the best means for them to be able to take this product.”

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