Vaping | St. Louis Public Radio

Vaping

A recent study in the U.S. indicated that 3.6 million teens used e-cigarettes in 2018, a steep climb from 1.5 million teens in 2017.
File | Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Calling vaping-related illnesses among Missouri’s youth an epidemic, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday signed an executive order mandating education to discourage usage. 

Thousands have been sickened across the country due to vaping-related illnesses. In Missouri, there have been 22 reported illnesses and one death as of Oct. 4. The majority of those cases involve people between the ages of 15 and 24. 

Schools across the country are so fed up with students vaping on campus that they're suing the e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs.

Multiple districts filed lawsuits on Monday, including school systems in Olathe, Kan.; St. Charles, Mo.; Long Island, N.Y.; and La Conner, Wash. Three of those suits charge that Juul has hooked a generation of young smokers with its sweet flavors, placing a burden on schools.

Michael Plisco, a critical care pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, says vaping still carries serious unknown risks.
Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Across the U.S., 18 people have died and more than 1,000 have become sick from a little-understood respiratory disease linked to vaping products. In Missouri, one patient has died, and state health officials have confirmed at least seven cases.

People with the illness report shortness of breath, nausea and coughing. Doctors have placed some patients on life support or respirators because their lungs have stopped working entirely.

Until doctors know more about the effects of vaping, people should stay away from the products, said Dr. Michael Plisco, a pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital St. Louis who treated the man who died.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products.

Murphy Lee poses for a portrait at Vape Ya Tailfeather in St. Charles.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri health officials have confirmed two cases in the state of a mysterious vaping-related pulmonary illness that has sickened hundreds of people across the nation. 

Missouri officials are investigating the cases of seven other patients to determine if their symptoms match the criteria for the illness. They’re also warning consumers not to tamper with vaping products.

Patients with the illness report nausea, shortness of breath, fever and elevated heart rates. The nine Missouri patients have reported modifying pre-packaged vaping products to smoke other substances such as vitamin E or THC, said Randall Williams, director of the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

Health regulators have been trying to keep up with a surge in popularity of vaping products. Officials in Missouri admit more study is needed to clearly determine if e-cigarettes are linked to health problems.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Health officials in Missouri are warning residents about the potential dangers of vaping. 

The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services has issued a health advisory for severe lung conditions possibly related to e-cigarette use. It comes after Illinois reported what is believed to be the first vaping-related death in the United States.

At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


State Auditor Nicole Galloway, right, slammed Carpenter for "mismanagement" -- and criticized her response to the audit.
File Photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council wants state Auditor Nicole Galloway to look into county government in the wake of Steve Stenger’s guilty plea on federal corruption charges.

That move came as St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced that the county is getting back to the negotiating table with the owners of Northwest Plaza.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is asking state lawmakers to raise the tax on cigarettes, and begin taxing vaping products. It’s part of a plan he introduced last month to balance the state budget.


A recent study in the U.S. indicated that 3.6 million teens used e-cigarettes in 2018, a steep climb from 1.5 million teens in 2017.
File | Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

A recent study of American teenagers showed a big jump in nicotine vaping among young people in 2018. Even as many steer clear of other substance-related activities such as binge drinking and drug use, the number of teens who are vaping has more than doubled since 2017.

“The data shows that one in five middle schoolers are using these products and one in three high school [students] are using these products, so those are incredibly concerning numbers,” Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg said during Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.