FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Arkansas’ Department of Health warns about the health risks of using electronic smoking devices — e-cigarettes or vapes — and the connection of possible lung illnesses. In addition, juices added to the devices are under scrutiny by federal regulators.

One company, JUUL, owned by Philip Morris USA and Marlboro-maker Altria Group, has discontinued some of the flavored juices.

As of November 7, JUUL Labs stopped the sale of Mint JUULpods in the U.S. and is no longer accepting retail orders for the pods, according to a company statement.

The company has agreed to support the FDA’s flavor policy — that is yet to be written. Hence, JUUL’s premarket tobacco production application (PMTA) on flavored pods is on hold until it gets FDA approval.

The company has a 5-point plan for the revision of some of its policies and practices, in part, it reads, “Stopped the sale of Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber JUULpods online in the U.S., pending FDA review. In November 2018, JUUL Labs stopped the distribution of these JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners,” and “Refrained from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance.”

Read here for the company’s full statement

Vape stores will not be impacted once the proposed flavor ban is created by the FDA, according to one Fayetteville vape shop manager.

In fact, White Oak Vapor Manager Clint Johnson calls it “unconstitutional” for the FDA to ban flavored e-cigarettes. Johnson mentions Michigan, which overturned the ban on flavored e-cigarettes in mid-October, “it [the ban] had only been in effect about a week prior to getting temporarily overturned,” said Johnson.

Johnson said fun flavored pods are not the problem for pre-teens/teens who do vape. Johnson questioned parental guidance, personal accountability. He said, “No one forced them to use the device.”

Vape shops are the preferred way to buy devices and pods because shops specialize in the products and what is being sold. “If you buy from a gas station or a big box store, employees won’t know about the ins-and-outs of the product,” said Johnson. “Buying [THC cartridges] from the black market, because it’s cheaper, is really taking a risk.”

Vitamin E and THC have the same color and consistency, and that’s the problem. Johnson said using Vitamin E acetate within THC is cheaper to produce, but could be the cause of the recent illnesses and even deaths. “Using vitamin E in THC is the equivalent of an 80s drug dealer cutting coke with anything white, like baking soda or detergent,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating lung injury cases in connection with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping. This includes more than two dozen deaths.

CDC has determined vitamin E acetate as the culprit chemical and may be associated with lung injury. CDC recommends not to use devices that have THC that comes from the black market or other “informal sources.” Also, not to add vitamin E acetate to devices.

Read here CDC’s “what is new” about the outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).

Vaping devices:

  • Electronic cigarettes – a basic device with a small battery. Can be a disposable version or use detachable cartridges.
  • Cigalike – the type of electronic cigarette that looks like a cigarette.
  • E-cigar – an e-cigar is a vape device that looks like a cigar.
  • Vape Pen – a smaller, tubular pen-shaped device. It can be used for e-liquids but usually, a vape pen applies to herbal vape devices.
  • eGo Mod – an ego style vape mod is used for vaping e-liquids. It is cylindrical in shape like a vape pen and works with a vape tank.
  • Vape Tank – a vape tank is a device that includes an atomizer, tank, and drip tip. The tank is manually filled with e-juice by the user.
  • Vape Mod – vape devices with large battery capacity. The user can control the power setting.
  • Unregulated Mod – a vape mod that draws raw power directly from a battery. Not recommended.
  • Pod Vape – a pod vape is a smaller device that uses an e-liquid cartridge, or pod, that is inserted into the body of the device.
  • Vaporizer – a device that vaporizes materials and emits vapor. Usually, a vaporizer refers to a dry herb vaporizer.

The above information for vaping devices from apolloecigs.com website.

Clint Johnson’s personal vaping experience:

Johnson said vaping is not all bad. “It [vaping] helped me to quit smoking.” Before he managed a Fayetteville vape shop he sold used cars and smoked more than a pack of cigarettes per day. “I tried vaping and it worked for me.” There is not a lot of education for people who want to vape to get off cigarettes. While not promoting any one product he said, “when JUUL started it was about getting away from tobacco, and it was a decent product.” As of now, Johnson is “cigarette smoke-free.”