BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After six deaths from vaping related illnesses, President Donald Trump has announced he’s seeking a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
“We can’t allow people to get sick,” President Trump said Wednesday, Sept. 11. “And we can’t have our youth be so affected.”
Those words left vape users like David Heard wondering how safe the practice actually is.
"One thing I searched right away are what are the safe liquids? What are they, you know?” Heard asked.
Heard says he decided he needed to go to his local vape shop to make sure the products he has been buying are safe.
“I was going to ask if what I read was true, if whether or not the people that had been hospitalized before, if it was true that the big scare is the whole line of liquid or vaping liquid or if it’s actually the elicit e-liquids out there,” he said.
Like so many others, he started vaping to quit smoking.
“I had been a smoker for about ten years, and I wanted to quit,” he said. “I heard it was a better alternative and there’s lots of, it’s a cheaper alternative as well and I decided to come in and do that.”
Creed Walters, the floor manager at LA Vape and Beyond, says he has heard many stories similar to Heard’s.
“They come in and they’re older people who have problems and most every one of them will have a lot less problems after a few months of vaping, they realize their lungs are clearing up,” Walters said. “There’s no carbon monoxide, there’s no tar. These are the harmful chemicals you’re getting through smoking and you cut those two things out right there, you’re way better off.”
While Dr. Abdula Moosa says he agrees that it’s technically safer than smoking cigarettes, he cautions people against believing it’s completely safe.
"Without question, it is an evil and we don’t really know the full extent of its bad effects yet,” Dr. Moosa said.
He says users should be aware of what they’re inhaling and what symptoms could result from vaping.
"They should seek medical counsel anytime they develop symptoms, in particular, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, or even diarrhea and generalized weakness,” he said.
Walters says he believes the flavored vapes his shop sells are safe and if they are outlawed, people will likely be pushed to use dangerous alternatives.
“We can ensure our customers that they are not getting something black market,” Walters said. “They aren't getting something elicit. They're getting something that's complying with FDA regulation."
He does urge consumers to only buy from reputable retailers in order to ensure they’re buying something FDA approved.
“Know where your juice is made, know where it’s coming from,” he said. “Check your ingredients, go to a reputable establishment.”