Local vaping business owner speaks out

Published: Sep. 8, 2019 at 11:22 PM CDT
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The business owner who I talked to said things are getting blown out of proportion.

He says in his years in business not one of his customers have become ill.

"Is grandpa going to be okay? Yea grandpas going to be okay as long as he doesn't buy a tainted t-h-c cartridge," said Todd Smith.

Tonight - a local business owner is speaking out after hundreds of people have fallen sick from vaping.

Todd Smith owns the Vaporosity shop in Davenport.

He says he doesn't believe the deaths are linked to the nicotine products sold at the shops.

"In the 7 years of doing business here and the thousands of customers we had coming in and out of the doors I haven't had one person fall ill from vaping nicotine-based e-liquid that we sell," said Smith.

Smith strictly believes there is another issue.

"It's not the product itself, its the tainted t-h-c pods or cartridges that are getting the people sick." said Smith.

The CDC does say the lung illness is associated with exposure to a chemical that's in the products.

"They're cutting them with a vitamin-E oil and when they ingest that or vape that vitamin e oil that's strictly in THC devices from what I read it's collapsing they're lungs its getting them sick ." said Smith.

But - the CDC has not yet identified what chemical is causing the illness.

Around 450 people in 33 states have reported illnesses potentially related to vaping.

"Shortness of breath cough and even some gi symptoms nausea vomiting and diarrhea sometimes we see blood in the airway which can be alarming."

18-year-old Adam Hergenrader of Chicago was rushed to the hospital with a lung infection.

"I didn't think that, that little pod can do so much damage on my body," said Adam.

And while he's warning others not to vape - back in the Quad Cities - Smith says otherwise.

"I'm having more conversations with customers, they're staying a little longer, and going what are we hearing on this vaping, and am I going to be okay, yea I tell them they're going to be fine," says Smith.

He also does say he is around the 7 days a week to answer any questions or concerns that anyone may have.