Weighing in on the Vaping Trend as Maryland Looks to Create Task - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Weighing in on the Vaping Trend as Maryland Looks to Create Task Force

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SALISBURY, Md. - The state of Maryland will create a vaping task force, to get a better handle on the electronic smoking trend.

Comptroller Peter Franchot made this announcement this week. It comes on the heels of a growing number of reports linking vaping to serious illness and death. According to the CDC, there have been more than 1,6000 cases of lung injury alone because of vaping in the U.S. In Maryland, health experts say they're seeing those numbers rise as well.

"We don't know enough," said Lisa White, RRT, the pulmonary/ABG lab supervisor at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. White said many patients are showing symptoms related to vaping.

"We're seeing more patients," White said. "We're seeing younger patients than we used to see. We're seeing a lot more college age students and we ask them do you smoke? And they're like, 'oh no but I vape.' Well, we need to know that because that's going to cause damage."

The task force on vaping will convene later this year. Its goal is to learn about vaping products and any dangers associated with them. The legislature must appoint who sits on the task force. Members from local governments, public health institutions, and related groups will also be on the task force.

White said the devices might be appealing to young people, but what's inside could be dangerous.

"We're finding that it's not water vapor," White said. "It contains tiny particles of metal, chemicals and you're heating that up, turning it into a vape, putting it in your lungs, what's it going to turn back into?"

Many people said knowledge is key.

"I think we don't know enough about the long term effects cause that hasn't been around that long," Andy Anderson of Salisbury said. "So I think that's a good idea for people to know what they're getting into."

The task force will continue into early next year. It will also recommend new and stronger laws to make sure people are protected. 


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