Up In Smoke

by Joseph Oscilowski ‘22

Over the past few months, an alarming number of illnesses and even deaths have been linked to vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Association (FDA) currently believe the cause to this illness is synthetic THC, but continue to investigate why people are getting sick. The U.S. government has begun taking action by creating restrictions on vaping products in hopes to lower the number of people affected by this unknown disease.


March 13: FDA restricts the sale of flavored vapes.

April 3: FDA links reports of seizures to vaping.

August 7: FDA receives a total of 127 reports of seizures.

August 17: FDA links the growing number of lung disease issues to vaping after receiving a total of 153 reported issues.

August 23: A resident of Illinois reported dead after vaping.

September 9: FDA sends a letter to Juul Inc. addressing the company’s illegal actions of misleading the public by making people believe that vapes are healthier than cigarettes. The FDA gives Juul Inc. 15 days to write back on how they plan on correcting their wrongs.

September 11: Trump Administration plans on banning all flavored vaping products in hopes to decrease the rising number of people being diagnosed with the unknown lung disease.

September 15: Juul Labs Inc. spokesman Austin Finan agrees with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been pushing for a ban of flavored juuls, that there is a need for “aggressive category-wide action.”

September 19: Federal officials announce that at least 530 people have become ill with this unknown lung disease. Canada reports its first case of this disease.

September 24: Michigan bans the sale of all vaping products for four months in order to help the epidemic. The ban will be in effect on October 2.

September 25: CEO of Juul Inc. steps down from his position.

September 26: The total death toll from vaping rises up to at least 13 people in the U.S. These reports have been from Mississippi, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, California, Illinois, Georgia, and Oregon, as well as 1 death in Britain. The CDC reports that there are now 805 cases of injury due to vaping.

October 2: Michigan’s ban on flavored vaping products officially begins. Currently Michigan, New York, Washington, and Rhode Island have imposed bans in response to the growing number of vaping-related illnesses. Over 1,000 people have been sickened by this illness.

October 14: Michigan officials report a death suspected of being linked with vaping. Federal Judge from Michigan upholds Michigan’s ban on flavored vaping products. Oregon imposes a restriction on flavored vaping products.

October 15: Total amount of deaths from this ailment has now reaches 33. This ailment has spread through every state except Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia. The CDC is strong on their theory that synthetic THC is the main cause of this illness. The CDC states that 78 percent of the patients brought in say that they used vaping products that contained THC, as well as almost one-third of the patients claiming that they only use THC-related products. The CDC warns that the only way to not become ill with this disease while its cause is being determined is to refrain from using all e-cigarette and vaping products.

October 17: Juul Labs pauses its distribution of fruit and dessert flavored vape products.


Sources: The Washington Post, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Truth Initiative, Business Insider, USA Today