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Local health officials hopeful vaping problems are winding down

Drew Kelly

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The consequences of vaping are still serious, but a local allergist thinks we might be turning a corner.

Todd Mahr with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse surmises the attention brought to the issue might have helped.

“The good news overall is the injuries have kind of tailed down,” Mahr said. “So we’ve got about 2,300 illnesses. About 47 deaths. But it’s been dropping.”

Mahr reports that in conversations with four La Crosse area school nurses, they have relayed concerning information about the habits of younger kids.

“Two of them have seen elementary school kids, fourth and fifth graders, they had been vaping,” Mahr said. “They had gotten it from their parents or siblings — they had stole it. So, if you are a vaping as an adult, keep track of your supply.”

Testing the vapes of the ill has uncovered some possibly useful information.

“Of those that have been turned in, 90% or so have tested positive for THC,” Mahr said. “So that would tell you right then that they’re not commercially available products.”

Mahr says national politicians seem to have sided with the vaping companies as opposed to citizens.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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