WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – This past week has brought news of the sixth vaping-related death, multiple lawsuits against vape companies and remarks from government officials condemning the product.
The news of the “war on vaping” has not been welcomed to those who stand by the product.
“I feel like our government should just be telling people, ‘Don’t smoke,’ not attacking one form, one simple little way,” local vape user Tony Crawford said.
“We’re either gonna go away or we’re gonna survive but it doesn’t look good for us right now,” local vape shop owner, Michael Johnson said.
In the last week, Johnson has added three cases of non-vape products to his store, Puffs USA, to keep up. He says the deaths related to vaping and the vaping industry are “like apples and oranges.”
He’s also disappointed in state and federal regulators for not coming to the source, like a vape shop, to talk about the product and its ingredients.
“They’re looking down from their ivory castle thinking, this all has to be related,” Johnson said.
Despite the warning from the CDC, Crawford has no plans to stop vaping.
He picked up the habit seven years ago after smoking cigarettes.
“I’m getting healthier, I’m breathing easier, I’m able to smell smells,” Crawford said.
Working as a cook, Crawford has appreciated re-gaining his sense of smell and taste.
Crawford, like Johnson, agrees that there is a lack of understanding about the industry and products.
“People think vaping is just this weird contraption when really its just electricity meting resistance wire, meeting juice, creating vapor,” Crawford said.
Proponents of vaping commend its use of “simple” ingredients, unlike cigarettes.
According to the CDC, there are 380 cases of lung illness reported from 36 states and 1 U.S. territory. Six deaths have been reported from 6 states.