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Milwaukee warns residents to stop vaping immediately

Milwaukee’s health department issued the warning after 16 people in Wisconsin were sent to the hospital for chemical pneumonia.

A man breathes vape from an e-cigarette at a vape shop in London, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. AP

SALT LAKE CITY — The city of Milwaukee wants residents to stop vaping immediately.

Milwaukee’s health department issued the warning after 16 people in Wisconsin were sent to the hospital for chemical pneumonia, which comes from lung inflammation, according to CNN.

“We continue to learn more about the health effects associated with e-cigarettes,” Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said in a statement, according to USA Today. “As the public health authority for the city, the MHD is committed to protecting the public from the dangers of secondhand exposure.”

All of the ill patients said they had vaped or “dapped” — inhaling marijuana products — before they went to the hospital.

Officials said they’re advising people to stop using vapes, e-cigarettes and any liquid THC products. Public health officials are still considering whether or not the vaping led to the breathing illness.

But these cases haven’t been tied directly to Milwaukee. In total, 10 cases came throughout Wisconsin. Another 15 cases are still being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Milwaukee Alderman Mike Murphy said the ban might anger some businesses, but the warning shouldn’t be ignored, according to WISN-TV.

“After two people, we should probably have sent out word sooner, but I’m glad we’re doing it now,” Murphy said.

“I understand citizens are going to say and business owners: ‘Hey, this is a legal product. I can sell it.’ They can, but I think the health commissioner has to take it to a higher level,” Murphy said.

At the same time, federal health officials said there are about 200 cases for lung disease that could be linked to e-cigarettes across 22 different states, USA Today reports.