(KWTX) Military post exchanges have halted sales of vape-related products, the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and Navy Exchange announced Tuesday.
The move comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 1,300 lung injury cases and at least 26 deaths related to the use of e-cigarettes or other vaping products.
AAFES removed vape-related products from its shelves on Sept. 30 and the Navy Exchange Service Command removed the products from retail shelves and directed concessionaires and vendors to discontinue sales after Oct. 1.
"The vapor that users inhale can contain ultrafine particles, carcinogens, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals," said Public Health Service Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, director of Total Force Fitness for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
"Vaping is not harmless, and researchers are still trying to understand the long-term impacts and health effects from inhaling the vapor."
Although vape products are represented as safer alternatives to smoking tobacco, Elenberg said it’s too early to know for sure that’s true.
"E-cigarettes generally contain less chemicals compared to traditional products like cigarettes, but since the long-term effects of vaping are unknown and not understood, there is not enough information at this time to make a determination on whether it is safer or healthier than other tobacco products," she said.