Vaping Illnesses

In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine. The Cabell-Huntington Board of Health will host a public hearing Jan. 22 over proposed new electronic cigarette, or vaping, regulation. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

HUNTINGTON — The Cabell-Huntington Board of Health will host a public hearing beginning at 5 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department over proposed new electronic cigarette, or vaping, regulation.

The hearing will afford attendees the opportunity to address the board with any comments regarding the proposed regulation, titled “A Regulation Eliminating Electronic Smoking Devices in Workplaces and Public Places.” A full copy of the regulation is available at cabellhealth.org.

In November, the board voted to move forward with the regulation modeled after the Clean Indoor Air Regulation, which bans smoking products like cigarettes, cigars or pipes in public places including bars and restaurants. The new regulation would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes, similarly in public spaces.

E-cigarettes heat a solution containing nicotine. While the products have been available since the late ’60s, teen usage has exploded in the past three years and the rise of black market cartridges led to an uptick in a mysterious, sometimes fatal, lung disease.

Kentucky announced its first vaping-related death last week. As of Jan. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there have been 2,602 hospitalizations and 57 deaths related to the lung disease. A study published Tuesday, according to the CDC, further points to vitamin E acetate in THC-containing vapes mostly obtained on the black market are the cause of the lung disease.

Dr. Michael Kilkenny, medical director of the health department, said in November that without any clear research, the board is concerned with the ingredients of vapes and they want to protect those who choose not to vape from potentially harmful vapor.

The hearing will be held in the second floor conference room at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, 703 7th Ave. in Huntington. The Board of Health will conduct its regularly scheduled board meeting immediately following the public hearing.

Questions regarding the hearing can be directed toward Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s public information officer, Elizabeth Adkins, at 304-523-6483, ext. 258.

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@TaylorStuckHD.

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