Milwaukee vape shops feel the effect of CDC warning

NOW: Milwaukee vape shops feel the effect of CDC warning

MILWAUKEE (CBS/CBS 58) -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising the public to take the vaping warning seriously, but hasn’t narrowed down the cause of the health crisis. Milwaukee vape shops say the unknown is costing them business.

The co-owner of Lakeview Vapor in Milwaukee says their business has decreased since the vape warning.

“It’s slowed down a little bit,” Lakeview Vapor Co-Owner William Giles said. “We've been vaping for almost 12 years now and haven't had a problem until this epidemic that's come up here. I feel that it's not anything that we've been selling here.”

At Wells Café and Vape, the shop has seen a 10 percent decrease in sales since the Milwaukee County Health Department advised the public to not use e-cigarettes.

“I think they're generalizing all vape products when they should focus on what the real problem is, which in my opinion are the THC products that people are buying off the streets,” Wells Café & Vape Owner Mohanned Musaitif said.

Nationwide, U.S. health officials said Friday that they're now investigating more than 450 cases of possible vaping-related illnesses in 33 states. The CDC said some type of chemical exposure is likely associated with the illnesses, but more information is needed to determine the exact cause. Many of those hospitalized reported recently vaping a THC product with chemicals from marijuana, while a smaller group reported using regular e-cigarettes. The CDC is warning people to not be getting any vape products off the black market.

“They should figure out what it is first and then put regulations on that and if they find problems with vapes, they should put restrictions and regulations on that too,” Musaitif said.

The President of the American Vaping Association said adults shouldn’t be afraid of buying store-bought vaping products to help quit smoking.  Local vape shops believe they've been helping people quit their cigarette addictions. 

“I hope they can get to the bottom of this right away here because our business is helping, we're trying to get people off cigarettes,” Giles said.

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