Law makers are taking sides down party lines when it comes to how to handle vape devices amid more than 800 reports of a mysterious lung ailment – including 12 deaths – linked to vaping, Law360 reports.
Some democrats say the issue with vape companies, like JUUL Labs, is their questionable marketing of vape devices as a safer alternative to cigarettes when most vape devices contain nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. Some republicans, however, are honing in on whether marijuana-derived THC oil in vape products are to blame.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not pinpointed the cause of the illnesses among vapers. Many of those who have fallen ill admitted to using vape cartridges containing THC. However, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday that one ingredient cannot explain all of the lung illnesses and investigators believe multiple causes are to blame.
Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said the marketing language vape companies are using to lure current cigarette smokers, “appear to be unfounded and illegal claims.” Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman questioned whether THC in vape products sold in states where marijuana is legal may be the source of the lung disease outbreak.
The CDC reiterated that it has yet to a culprit with vape devices or e-liquids. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a criminal investigation into the outbreak.