We're not going to try to contextualize the vaping-related illness facts at this point – we're not sophisticated enough and many of the best experts in the country are still confused as well.
This article from the Tribune contains a big data dump on what the University of Utah has found, and we consider local pulmonologist Dr. Aberegg to be a straight shooter without an axe to grind – who's just trying to make sense of a welter of confusing data.
We will say that hasty knee-jerk reactions by lawmakers to outright ban either or both main form(s) of vaping – of nicotine or cannabinoids – would be the WORST response, as it seems almost certain that it's prohibition which has led to the creation of all of the illicit activity which government has already shown it can't control as we've documented in a number of well-researched stories.
Both cannabis vaping and nicotine vaping have legitimate uses – cannabis in the treatment of many ills and nicotine in tobacco harm reduction.
We recognize that dealing with merchants who just want to hook kids on nicotine is another problem – not simple to solve, but driving all nicotine vaping underground very likely won't solve it. That's all we have to offer on the nicotine side, though, because our focus remains on medicinal cannabis and we're not experts on that matter beyond our feelings just expressed.
We will also definitely advise cannabis vaping patients who have affirmative defense letters to switch from liquid vaping to vaporizing loose cannabis dry herb in state-sanctioned "medicinal dosage forms" at least until this outbreak is brought under control.
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NOTE: We support Salt Lake having two papers, and we understand from the numbers that the Trib – like so many papers around the country which have gone under in the age of "free" (general) internet news – can't survive without digital subscription revenue. This is why the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and a handful of others are among the few newspapers actually thriving anywhere.
Only a local paper has local reporters on the ground and deep roots in the community. Salt Lake's other paper is lucky enough to have a deep-pocketed sponsor who cares more about spreading a point a view than making money, and we feel it would be a shame if that paper and its subsidized point of view were the only truly local voice in the area.
In other words, no Trib, no independent stories like this in the first place. So we urge those who appreciate this alternate voice and who can to subscribe. Costs less than a typical fast-food meal per month, btw.
But having made that plea on the paper's behalf (without consultation or compensation), we feel this story is important enough to share in full and so we're pasting it all in the first few comments….
Utah’s rate of vaping-related illness is among the worst in the nation. Here’s what you need to know.
Utah health officials <a href="https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/09/16/cases-vaping-illnesses/" target="_blank">have confirmed 42 cases</a> of serious, vaping-related illnesses — a per-capita rate that no other state has come close to matching, according to a Salt Lake Tribune review of government …