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MO Vape Death

 

Missouri issued a warning about a severe lung condition, related to e-cigarettes. Since the “first vaping related death” happened, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services issued a statement saying,“Patients presented with cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue, which became worse over days or weeks before hospital admission. All patients reported ‘vaping’ in the weeks and months prior to hospital admission. Many have acknowledged recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products; however, no specific product has been identified by all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to this clinical syndrome.” 

The New York State Department of Health said lab tests showed “extremely high levels of Vitamin E acetate (safe for skin care but not safe for inhalation) found in nearly all analyzed samples of products that contain cannabis.” 

They also stated that Vitamin E acetate was not found in products containing nicotine (E.g Juul pods). Contrary to what many may believe or have heard, vape juice only contains around three to five ingredients. Those ingredients being: Propylene Glycol (PG) (OPTIONAL) and/or Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Non-Oil food grade flavorings (natural or artificial) (OPTIONAL), and nicotine (OPTIONAL). 

As of now many health officials are pointing at Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is a popular new diluent thickener, mostly found in black market THC vape carts. It’s commonly synthesized in three steps, using toxic petroleum-derived precursor chemicals—mostly trimethylhydroquinone. Most people use it to help remove dark spots or discoloration on skin. When you add products like Vitamin E and add different kinds of lipid solvents (Lipids are all insoluble in polar solvents like water but highly soluble in the non-polar or weakly polar organic solvents, including ether, chloroform, benzene, and acetone) to the mix, it will make the oil stickier, and that stickiness is creating lung illnesses.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a waning currently against buying THC vape products off the street. Trump has called for a ban on flavored vape juice stating, “We can’t have our youth be so affected.” 

This is bad news to many current vape users as some of them use the flavorings to help keep them off cigarettes and say its not only teens who like the flavors too. Many supporters of the ban suggest it will help lower the number of teens vaping as vaping among teens has spiked significantly in recent years and become a major problem. The ban has not come into effect yet but many vapers have already made actions to try and stop it and it’s becoming a major topic among lawmakers and politicians, possibly becoming a topic in the 2020 Democratic debates. 

 

Ukraine, Trump, Biden

 

In national news, headlines have been made about Trump trying to urge foreign leaders to investigate Joe Biden, one of his competitors for the 2020 presidential election. The call was made on July 25, 2019 between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky.

 A US intelligence agent filed a complaint about the call stating that it raised “urgent concern”. Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence is set to be interviewed by the Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee on September 26, 2019. In the call, Trump was attempting to pressure Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son, who worked on a board for a Ukranian Energy company. Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son eight times. 

In the past, Biden’s son worked for the Ukranian energy company, Burisma, while the business owner was under fire by the nation’s  top prosecutor. In 2016, while Obama was president, the US and other western countries pressured Ukraine into dropping the prosecution of Burisma. How Biden ties into all of this is that he was the vice-president at the time.

The main concern with this issue is that Trump could be in trouble for attempting to pressure the Ukranian President into launching an investigation on Biden and his son. It is illegal for political campaigns to accept “things of value” from foreign governments. An investigation of Biden would amount to a “thing of value” democrats argue. 

Trump also appeared to have delayed giving military assistance to Ukraine after the call, withholding $250 million until this month, after the whistleblower complaint became public. 

Trump had this to say about the call; “It’s very important to talk about corruption. If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? … It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.”

The White House is considering releasing the transcript of the exchange between the President and Zelensky, though the White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham voices concern that releasing the transcript would hinder the President’s ability to have frank phone conversations in the future. Others are worried that by releasing this transcript, calls for other transcripts between the president and other foreign leaders to be made public would surface too. 

Climate Strike – international