MONONGALIA COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - After linking over 400 cases of illness to the popular smoking alternative 'vaping" U.S. health officials are warning everyone, especially young people, that the habit isn't as harmless as it seems.
"People are trying to sell the idea of getting nicotine through the way of vaping is somehow better and I think that's just not really logical,"
Doctor Lee B. Smith, of the Monongalia County health department, says in order to try to better identify what is causing these illnesses, the state's commissioner for public health has released an advisory for the public to better report these vaping related instances.
"Because the CDC wants to identify this, illnesses related to e-cigarettes or vaping are now reportable to health departments," said Smith
The link to vaping and the illnesses is still unclear.
"It's not clear if it's because of the materials being burned and inhaled, is it because of the mechanics of it," Smith said
Monongalia County has made moves as a whole towards a healthier community by updating their indoor air regulations to ban vaping.
"It now includes not just cigarette smoking, but e-cigs, vaping, any type is not meant to be done indoors," said Smith
While no specific cases have been reported in mon county, doctor smith believes it is only a matter of time.
"We have not had any reported cases yet but with there being 450 in 33 states it's only a matter of time until we do,"