Local vape shop operator says black market products are the real danger
President Trump addressed the vaping crisis and announced that his administration is working to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products.
This comes after six people died from a vaping related illness and 450 others experienced respiratory problems.
Channel 3 spoke to a member of the Tennessee Smoke Free Association who says this is a crisis, but it isn't coming from regulated shops.
At Tribal Vapors in Chattanooga, the front door reads that nobody under the age of 18 can purchase the e-cigarettes.
"We don't want these products in the hands of children. I know this shop doesn't sell to kids," said Nicole Crumley, a member of the TSFA.
Crumley works with vape shops across Tennessee, including Tribal Vapors.
She says kids are turning to the black market to get their hands on vapes when they can't buy them legally in the shops.
"They are going to the guy on the street, the guy on the corner and you don't know where it's coming from," Crumley told Channel 3.
Kids don't know what they're inhaling and she says that's where the illnesses arise.
"The CDC is saying just don't vape. That's not an accurate statement. You shouldn't vape illegal black market THC cartridges because you don't know where they came from," Crumley said.
Crumley says the products you find in vape shops are water based and the ones being sold on the streets are laced with toxic oils and THC.
"There's no oil in any of our liquids," Crumley added.
She says their regulated vapes are still a safer alternative than the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
"We are neglecting to think about the 480,000 people that die from cigarette related illnesses," said Crumley.
The CDC warned not to vape anything until they figure out what's going on, something she doesn't agree with.
"What that's going to do is drive people back to smoking and that we know for sure is a detriment to public health," Crumley told Channel 3.
Crumley hopes their shops aren't lumped in with the vaping related illnesses sweeping the nation.
"We've not seen any deaths from vaping except from these black market THC cartridges and they are not in the same category as we are," Crumley concluded.