Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Vaping is under attack. An entire industry is being blamed for recent deaths, and now we’re finding out that New York banned flavored e-cigarettes. The rise in deaths, which hit seven over the weekend, and illnesses, which have numbered over 450, have states blaming the entire industry for the problem.

But banning regulated and properly manufactured vape juice is not going to correct the issue.

Black Market Sales are Most Likely the Cause of Illness and Death

Death is never a joking matter, and we’re seeing that a lot of the current backlash is over the deaths in the vaping industry. If the figures continue and vaping continues to gain popularity, vaping may be a concern.

But the problem is that up until last week, there were just six vape-related deaths.

Cigarette smoking kills 480,000 people annually in the United States alone. Vaping deaths are still just a fraction of the number of people dying from smoking. Any death is a concern, but politicians are also working for the upcoming elections.

Bans will appeal to some voters, as politicizing vaping reaches over 12 million people in the US.

The economy has grown by 100,000 jobs, and if the bans on vaping continue, many of these jobs will disappear. Politicians are politicizing the matter to their own benefit, but let’s get to the root cause of the problem: black market THC.

CNN recognized that the THC black market was the cause of one of the most recent deaths, but the network is blaming the vaping industry as a whole. A lot of people associate this with politics in an attempt to discredit the Trump administration.

Jobs lost will look bad for the current administration.

President Donald Trump flip-flopped on the matter. He first called for action against the entire industry, while changing his stance later on.

“While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping,” tweeted Trump.

Attacking vaping as a whole is a weak argument, but we do know that government officials researching recent deaths have linked high levels of Vitamin E acetate as a possible cause of the deaths.

This oily substance can be applied to the skin and ingested without concern, but when inhaled, it can cause severe lung issues.

Vitamin E acetate is used as a thickener in THC oil, and the black market is selling tens of thousands of these cartridges. Knock-off THC products are to blame, with the thickening agent being used as a means to cover up the lower-quality liquids.

THC cartridges manufactured by licensed companies do not seem to be the issue.

Federal officials have contacted members of the public that have had an adverse side effect from vaping, with most claiming to have used a mix of black market and legal cartridges. There’s also the concern that a lot of the black-market products are cut with unknown chemicals, with tests being done to determine if pesticides or opioids are being cut into the product.

Reason reports that 83% of those that experienced respiratory illness after vaping in Illinois and Wisconsin used black-market THC products. The remaining 17% claim to have used nicotine products, but researchers are concerned that this group may have been afraid of legal backlash.

Vaping is not a new trend, and it has been around for years. What seems to be new is the rise in deaths and illnesses, which many people attribute to black-market sales. A lack of quality control and unknowing thickeners and cutting agents poses a serious risk to the public.