The issues surrounding whether the government should increase regulations on vaping products amid a growing number of illnesses and deaths continue to be controversial, on the High Desert and across the country.
The state of Oregon has had two vaping-related deaths, among more than a dozen nationwide.
The Oregon Health Authority is warning people to stop using all types of vaping products. Many states across the country have declared public health emergencies or outright bans on certain vaping products.
Some owners in Bend feel that regulating businesses that follow health guidelines is not solving the problem when people are accessing vaping-related products.
E-cigarettes and marijuana businesses are obligated to follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines when selling sealed, regulated products.
The owner of High Mountain Mist, a business in Bend that sells cigarette and vaping-related products, said he believes many people are confusing THC vape and nicotine vape.
The owner said many of the vaping-related illnesses have a common denominator of vitamin E acetate vape cartridges, found in THC products.
” Street THC cartridges that have been cut with vitamin E acetate, now the vitamin -E acetate is the real culprit here, ” said Spencer, owner of High Mountain Mist. ” It’s a cheaper ingredient to cut with liquid, and that’s exclusively in the marijuana world. That’s because these are street products that sometimes being sold to dispensaries for resell, but you wouldn’t find them in e-cigarette stores, because they are THC products. ”
Many argue other products such as cigarettes should be more heavily regulated than vaping products. One man who said he no longer smokes cigarettes or vaping products said he questions the ingredients in vaping products.
” It’s very concentrated, whatever you’re getting, ” said Davis Kirchner. ” Whether it’s THC from the marijuana or nicotine from tobacco, it’s more concentrated. I kind of wonder how much more of an impact it’s having to the lungs or the system. ”
The state of Oregon may also ban vaping products in the future.
State Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, said Friday, ” I’ll be moving legislation forward in the 2020 session to ban flavored products around vaping that are targeted at our youth. We should not allow our youth in Oregon to be experimented on by the vaping industry. ”