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Americans Split On E-Cig Flavor Ban While Vaping Illness Spreads

Armin Staudt
123rf Stock Photo

A little more than half of Americans support a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vapes, according to a poll out Thursday from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll shows that a slim majority of people older than 30 support a ban on flavored vapes. But most younger people — between the ages of 18 and 29 — do not. Younger adults and teens have higher rates of vaping than older adults, research shows.

According to the poll a quarter of adults under age 29 said they vaped, with much smaller numbers from older adults.

The poll comes as thousands have been sickened by a lung disease that is linked to vaping. Federal regulators have yet to find a common product, but say a majority of people report vaping with THC, a key chemical in marijuana.

The federal government is currently considering a ban on flavors in e-cigarettes – a move that several states are also considering.

The Kaiser poll comes as a nationwide outbreak of a lung disease continues to grow. More than a thousand cases are reported in 49 states, with more than 30 deaths. Federal regulators say most people who’ve been sickened report vaping THC, a chemical in marijuana that causes a high.In Kentucky, officials have confirmed one case of the illness; they’re investigating 28 more.

On the same day the poll was released, JUUL Labs announced it is suspending online sales of non-tobacco flavored vapes in the U.S. The company had previously suspended retail sales of flavored vapes, but some flavors were still available online.

The suspension will remain in place while federal health regulators investigate the illnesses.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter. Most recently, she was a reporter for Kaiser Health News. During her career, Gillespie has covered all things health — from Medicaid and Medicare payment policy and rural hospital closures to science funding and the dietary supplement market.
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