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State officials say calls to Michigan's "QUIT NOW" smoking hotline are up dramatically, in large part due to the vaping health crisis.

Vaping products that contain marijuana or tobacco have caused lung injuries in dozens of people in Michigan, and killed two. One 17-year-old had to have a double lung transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, his injuries were so severe.   

The state is urging people to stop vaping, and not to turn to smoking cigarettes instead. 

It appears many people are trying to follow the advice. 

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
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A second person in Michigan has died from lung injuries due to vaping.

56 others in the state have experienced lung injuries from vaping since August, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

person smoking an ecigarette
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The state’s marijuana watchdog agency has ordered tests on vaping inventories. This order came via an emergency rule adopted by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Doctors say a 17-year-old faces a long recovery after undergoing a double lung transplant after suffering from a vaping-related lung illness.

The teen was hospitalized back on Sept. 5th for what doctors originally diagnosed as pneumonia. But his condition deteriorated quickly. In less than two weeks, his lungs grew so weak that he had to be placed on a machine just to keep him alive.

He celebrated his birthday waiting for a transplant.

He was transferred to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where he underwent a double lung transplant last month.

man vaping
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Doctors at a Detroit hospital have performed a double lung transplant on a man whose lungs were damaged from vaping.

No other details of the transplant were released Monday by Henry Ford Health System, which has scheduled a news conference Tuesday. The patient has asked his medical team to share photographs and an update to warn others about vaping.

person smoking an ecigarette
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Michigan officials may have something to learn from a pair of new studies looking at the vaping habits of young people.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday published two studies from the University of Southern California. The studies include a U.S. government report based on a survey indicating that the U.S. teen vaping epidemic shows no signs of slowing down.

person smoking an ecigarette
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to reinstate her emergency ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in Michigan.

A motion asks the state Supreme Court to bypass lower courts and immediately consider the case.

The Whitmer administration’s filing says the matter is urgent because of the risk to public health. It says candy- and popcorn-flavored vaping products are attractive to young consumers who could easily become hooked on nicotine.

person smoking an ecigarette
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Some lawmakers want to prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from issuing rules restricting access and use of vaping products. Lawmakers debated the bill (HB 5019) in front of a House committee Tuesday.

This comes after MDHHS issued emergency rules banning the sale and manufacturing of flavored vaping products with more than 2% nicotine. 

man vaping
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A Michigan judge is blocking the state's two-week-old ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday. She says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration's delay in implementing the ban undercuts its position that emergency rules were needed.

When Will tried his first vape during his sophomore year, he didn't know what to expect. It was just something he had vaguely heard about at school.

"I just sort of remember using it a bunch of times, like in a row," he says. "And there's this huge buzz-sensation-like head rush. And I just ... didn't really stop."

The link between vaping and severe lung problems is getting a lot of attention.

But scientists say they're also worried about vaping's effect on teenage brains.

"Unfortunately, the brain problems and challenges may be things that we see later on down the road," says Nii Addy, associate professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine.

vaping
Pixabay

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that an adult man has died from a vaping-related lung injury. It's the first such death to happen in the state.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control reported a nationwide total of 18 vaping-related deaths and 1,080 cases so far. Those numbers do not include the Michigan death, or any other deaths that have been reported in other states since Tuesday.

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
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The number of cases of suspected respiratory illnesses connected to vaping continues to climb in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are now a dozen confirmed or probable cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping. The department is investigating another 14 possible cases.

Vaping accesories
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers have two weeks to clear their shelves of flavored, nicotine-laced vaping products. The state health department issued new rules Wednesday that ban the sale of those products. The ban also applies to online retailers who ship vaping products to Michigan customers.

Bob Wheaton is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He says the rule follows a formal declaration that vaping is a “public health emergency.”

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
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President Donald Trump says his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of breathing problems tied to vaping.

State and federal health authorities are investigating hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

It's still a mystery — what's causing the cluster of severe respiratory illnesses among people who've used e-cigarettes? The FDA says there have been at least 215 reported cases in 25 states.

Nearly three dozen of those cases are in New York state, and investigators there say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit. Health officials say state lab tests detected high levels of vitamin E in cartridges of cannabis vaping products used by people who vaped and suffered serious lung damage.

An e-cigarette sits on a table with smoke around it
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Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer issued emergency rules making Michigan the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which are popular among teenagers. Plus, the story of a Bay City teacher who took a trip over Niagra Falls. 

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state health department to ban flavored nicotine vaping products on Wednesday.

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State health officials are launching an investigation into vaping.  They are looking for a possible link to a serious respiratory illnesses.

Updated August 19, 6:28 p.m.

When Dylan Nelson was admitted to the ICU in July with difficulty breathing, his mother, Kim Barnes. figured it was his asthma acting up. But when she got to the hospital in Burlington, Wis., he couldn't speak. He was intubated. His blood oxygen level was only 10%. He was put into a medically induced coma.

Barnes told the nurse she worried she wouldn't see her 26-year-old son again. The nurse reassured her.

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Minors in Michigan soon won’t be able to vape. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Tuesday. They ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors – currently a federal law. And they ban the use of e-cigarettes by minors.

Schools across the state have called minors vaping an “epidemic.”

man vaping
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The popularity of vaping among teenagers is going up. A University of Michigan study found there were 1.3 million more high school users in the U.S. in 2018 than in 2017.

Here in Michigan, two bills that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes and other vaping products to minors have been sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's desk. One of groups opposing the legislation might come as a surprise. It’s the American Cancer Society. 

rehearsal of University of Minnesota Duluth's production of Time's Up
Brett Groehler

Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) after her meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about proposed changes to Title IX rules on campus sexual assault. Plus, how the advent of camper trailers helped drive the establishment of Michigan’s state park system.

Vaping accesories
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

 

The fruity smell associated with vape pens is a new normal in schools across Michigan, including Belding High School, east of Grand Rapids. That’s despite it being banned by its administration.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate have voted to get tougher on retailers that sell nicotine-infused vaping products to minors.

But Angela Clock with Tobacco-Free Michigan says that only creates an illusion of being tough on a public health threat.

She says whether they’re smoking or vaping, people are inhaling nicotine.

Person blowing vape cloud
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Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Interim State School Superintendent explains why she’s opposed to an A-though-F grading systems meant to evaluate state schools passed by the lame-duck legislature in December. Plus, a researcher breaks down the “epidemic” of teen vaping and how e-cigarette use can affect brain development in young people. 

Electronic cigarette
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Minors in Michigan wouldn't be able to buy or possess electronic cigarettes or nicotine cartridges under a bill recently introduced in the state Senate.

The legislation would add vapor products and alternative nicotine products to the Youth Tobacco Act.

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, says it would close a loophole that lets minors purchase e-cigarettes in Michigan.

Smoke shop.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan report finds teen drug use is continuing to decline in the U.S.

U of M’s Monitoring the Future project has been studying teenage drug use for more than four decades.

“Teen smoking at 12th-grade, 10th-grade and eighth-grade is at the lowest level we’ve ever recorded in 42 years. The same with alcohol use. Same with measures of heavy alcohol use, like binge drinking or getting drunk,” says researcher Richard Meich. “So it looks like teens are moving away from drug use.”