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Ex-vaper warns about black market products

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 05:50:47-05

LANSING, Mich. — A woman who was hospitalized and nearly put on a respirator says black-market vapes are the problem.

Mary Price thought that buying less expensive vape cartridges would help her in the long run.

But not long after she started to vape, she found herself barely able to breathe.

"I was using the THC vapes for quite a while...a year probably. About a cartridge a day," said Price.

Those THC vapes are exactly what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns vapers to stay away from.

Price says her first mistake was getting her cartridges off the black market.

“I got it from a friend of a friend,” Price said, “ten dollars cheaper than I would have gotten it at a shop."

The CDC says those cheaper cartridges have a dangerous chemical called Vitamin E Acetate.

"The Vitamin E has nowhere to go when it gets in your lungs,” said Price. “So now you have oil in your lungs. This is where all the lung problems are coming from."

She found that out the hard way.

"I couldn't breathe, I got sick, and I went to the ER and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Then I was back in the ER the next day and they said I had double pneumonia."

Price says she was in the hospital for five days.

"I was one step from being put on a respirator,” she said. “That’s how bad it ruined my lungs...my oxygen level was 22."

She says even though she quit vaping she's not against it, but she does want to warn other vapers to stay away from black market products.

"If I can save just one life by telling my story, then that story was worth telling."

Price says she also uses inhalers to help fix her lungs.

More than 2,000 e-cigarette users have gotten sick in the US alone since March.

More than 40 have died.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer banned flavored vaping products in Michigan, but a court has held up the policy for now.

President Donald Trump said he wants to ban them as well.

The New York Times reports the he is back-tracking because advisors have told him it could cost him votes.

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