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Army Warns Troops Against Vaping As Two Soldiers Are Confirmed To Have E-Cigarette Related Lung Illness

Because many soldiers begin smoking during their service, e-cigarette companies have targeted troops in recent years, pitching their products as an alternative to cigarettes. In other news on the vaping crisis: New York City sues online retailers over claims they’re selling to minors; CBS offers a glimpse inside the vaping black market; the crackdowns begin seeping to the elections; and more.

The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Army Is Treating Two Soldiers For Vaping-Related Lung Illness

The U.S. Army is treating two active-duty soldiers in its medical facilities for vaping-related lung illness, officials said days after most of the military banned e-cigarette sales at base exchanges. The Army is the first branch of the U.S. military to report cases of an ailment that has been linked to at least 24 deaths in the U.S., according to federal and state officials. (Kesling and Maloney, 10/9)

USA Today:
Vaping Illness: US Army Treating 2 Soldiers For Lung Injuries

The message, directed at soldiers as well as their families, especially warned against using vaping products sold off the street or modified. It said the effects of vaping could undermine the military’s mission. “In efforts to conserve the fighting strength, and strengthen Army readiness and resilience, vaping of e-cigarettes should be highly discouraged at this time,” said Dr. Marc A. Williams, a toxicologist and an e-cigarette and vaping expert in APHC’s Toxicology Directorate. (Stanglin and Alltucker, 10/9)

New York City Sues Online E-Cigarette Retailers Over Age Verification

New York City has sued more nearly two dozen online e-cigarette retailers, accusing them of selling their products to underage New Yorkers, the city announced Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday evening in Brooklyn federal court, targets 22 companies including Artison Vapor Franchise LLC, and Vapor 4 Life Holdings Inc. All of them are located outside New York. (Pierson, 10/9)

The Wall Street Journal:
New York Lawsuit Accuses Online E-Cigarette Retailers Of Selling To Minors

The city’s suit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, demands that the 22 online retailers stop selling e-cigarettes to New York City residents under the age of 21 and to cease operating without adequate age-verification systems. The 22 companies named in the lawsuit are based outside New York state. Several companies named in the lawsuit, including E-cigarette Empire LLC in Las Vegas, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. (West, 10/9)

CBS News:
Vaping: CBS News Investigates The Vaping Industry’s Booming Black Market

To find out how dangerous and potentially deadly THC vaping products end up on the streets, CBS News took hidden cameras to a warehouse 75 miles east of Los Angeles, where the marijuana black market feels more like a house party. The THC oil inside these cartridges is unregulated, so there’s no way to know exactly what’s inside or how it could impact a user’s health, even though every seller claimed to have a pure product. With flavors like “strawberry bubble gum” and “dirty Sprite,” people come to underground warehouses like the one in Los Angeles to buy hundreds of vapes at a time, just to resell them nationwide. (10/9)

Kaiser Health News:
‘We Vape, We Vote’: How Vaping Crackdowns Are Politicizing Vapers

Vapers across the country are swarming Twitter, the White House comment line and statehouse steps with the message “We Vape, We Vote.” They’re speaking out after a slew of attacks on their way of life. President Donald Trump announced his support for a vaping flavor ban in September. Some states temporarily banned the sales of vaping tools or flavors. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people to stop vaping until public health experts can find the cause of more than a thousand cases of lung injuries nationwide. (Bluth and Weber, 10/10)

How Vaping Nicotine Can Affect A Teenage Brain

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. (Hamilton, 10/10)

She Survived The ICU. Now, She Has A Message: Quit Vaping!

Piper Johnson was all packed and ready to drive across country with her mom to start college when the 18-year-old noticed a pain in her chest. She took an Advil and hoped the pain would go away. It didn’t. During the drive from her hometown of New Lenox, Ill., near Chicago, to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., she realized something was very wrong. “I kept feeling worse and worse,” Johnson says. She developed a high fever, felt extremely lethargic, and noticed a rapid heart beat. (Aubrey, 10/9)

Lexington Herald Leader:
This Kentucky Runner Blames Vaping For A Collapsed Lung

When Dalton Stiltner first felt short of breath early last month, he chalked it up to anxiety. The 21-year-old senior and college athlete at the University of Pikeville has anxiety that has, in the past, progressed to the point of heart palpitations and shortness of breath, he said. These days, he’s still relatively stressed. A full-time student on the brink of adulthood, each weekday is devoted to class and running at least five miles on his university cross country team. On the weekends, when he’s not traveling to cross country meets, he works part-time making sandwiches at Jimmy Johns. (Acquisto, 10/9)

Why People Are Dying From Vaping In The U.S. And Not The U.K.

Whenever Matt Culley travels to England, he feels as if he has entered a sort of Twilight Zone. A prominent vaping advocate on YouTube in the United States, Culley went so far as to describe the scene in the United Kingdom, where he often attends conferences, as a sort of “alternate reality.” (Norcia, 10/10)

Prudential Plans To Boost Life Insurance Prices For Vapers 

Prudential Financial Inc. says the health scare around vaping is changing its calculus. Prudential, one of the largest U.S. life insurers, plans to tweak its policy for customers who vape, saying that they’ll be classified as smokers instead of non-smokers when applying for individual coverage. Smokers tend to be charged higher life insurance rates than people who don’t smoke, the company said in an emailed statement Wednesday. (Chiglinsky, 10/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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