Vaping-related illness cases increase in Iowa and Illinois


QUAD CITIES — Health professionals say they still don’t know what’s causing hundreds of people to get sick after vaping. However, they suggest there’s a trend.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 77% of people who have gotten sick from vaping self-reported using cartridges with THC.

“You see people doing it in businesses and you don’t know yet,” said Rock Island resident Sydney Johnson. “[The CDC doesn’t] have enough information out, which is one of the biggest concerns. They’re just now figuring this out and people have been doing it for years.”

Local 4 News tracked down the number of vaping-related illness and death cases. Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • 13 people have died across the country
  • There’s been one fatal case in Illinois
  • 88 people in Illinois have reported getting sick from vaping
  • Iowa’s Department of Public Health reports 23 illness cases

The number one piece of advice from professionals at the CDC is don’t vape and especially avoid THC vapes.

“These THC ones, you get people that are putting cleaner, weird products in there and stuff,” said David Rotz of Rock Island.

In Iowa, almost 80% of cases can be traced back to THC. In Illinois, the CDC reports that most THC cartridges were not bought from in stores, but form friends or off the street.

However, not everyone is convinced vaping is as dangerous as it seems.

“It’s kind of a hysteria because the numbers still pretty low even if it’s new, you know,” said Matt Ford of Rock Island. “But if you look at how many people die from smoking every year, you know, I think it’s kind of ridiculous.”

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