Vaping industry expert speaks out on the epidemic

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COLORADO SPRINGS — As proposals to ban or further restrict vaping products continue to rise, many within the vape industry are speaking out.

Robert Wirth, co-owner of a business called Shatter Batter, makes products that can liquify THC or CBD concentrates to be used in vapes. They started the company 2-3 years ago.

Wirth says the majority of its ingredients are recognized as safe by the FDA and other agencies and if legislation continues to rise more people will turn to the black market and hurt themselves.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 17 deaths have been associated with vaping.

“Vaping has been around for 20 years. billions of dollars in the U.S. are spent on vape, same flavors are being used and ingredients for all this year,” Co-owner of Shatter Batter LLC Robert Wirth said.

Wirth used to own a vape shop and said their products allow you to convert your own herbal concentrates into a vapable liquid.

“Because there’s no nicotine we don’t go through the same procedures as a nicotine product but everything we use is recognized as safe by the FDA everything we use is USP grade,” Wirth said.

Wirth believes there’s a disconnect within the vaping epidemic.

“Someone is making moonshine version of THC vapes instead of going to a safe product like Safe Batter, it looks like they are using Vitamin E Acetated,” Wirth explained.

The CDC says many of the cases they are looking into involve THC containing products. No word yet if there’s a single product or substance linked to the cases but they do recommend users avoid buying products off the streets or modifying any substances.

“Someone will pick up that money and the regulations are in place so if someone is selling to children we are not protecting our children,” Wirth added.

Wirth said another issue to be worried about is the effects legislation will cause on cigarette users.

“We are creating a gateway drug to cigarettes,” Wirth said. “I watched hundreds going from packs to vaping to nothing because they bring their addiction to nicotine down and it was just a vaper.”

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