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Calls to state's "QUIT NOW" hotline up sharply in midst of vaping health crisis


State officials say calls to Michigan's "QUIT NOW" smoking hotline are up dramatically, in large part due to the vaping health crisis.

Vaping products that contain marijuana or tobacco have caused lung injuries in dozens of people in Michigan, and killed two. One 17-year-old had to have a double lung transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, his injuries were so severe.   

The state is urging people to stop vaping, and not to turn to smoking cigarettes instead. 

It appears many people are trying to follow the advice. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that in August of this year alone, e-cigarette user enrollment in smoking cessation programs rose 54% over the year before; in July, the increase was 136%.    

A chemical compound called vitamin E acetate has been implicated but not yet proven to be causing the injuries. Many vaping products, especially those containing marijuana, have that compound in them.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.