AUSTIN, Texas — Texas-based grocery store H-E-B decided to pull electronic cigarettes from its shelves, amid growing concerns for public health and safety. 

  • HEB pulls e-cigarettes from shelves
  • More people are concerned about health risks
  • CDC, FDA investigating connection to lung disease

H-E-B released a statement saying “At H-E-B, the safety of our communities and the well-being of all Texans is our top priority. Due to the unknown health implications of vaping, H-E-B immediately discontinued the sale of e-cigarettes last week.”

When asked whether H-E-B would keep selling cigarettes, they sent an additional statement saying,"While the product assortment in our stores is always changing and evolving, at this time, we will continue selling traditional tobacco products to those 21 and older who choose to smoke."

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Electronic cigarettes are also referred to as e-cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems. E-cigarettes can be filled with nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. 

There has been an increase in cases of severe lung disease and seizures that are linked to e-cigarettes and what is known as “vaping,” according to the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The CDC confirmed 380 cases of lung illnesses reported from 36 states, including Texas. The FDA is also investigating a possible link between e-cigarette use and seizures, tremors and other neurologic symptoms. The FDA has received more than 125 reports of seizures and other neurologic symptoms linked to the use of e-cigarettes. All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette or vaping use.

RELATED: Campaign Seeks to Reduce Vaping Among Teens

The symptoms of lung disease reported by patients in this outbreak include:

  • Coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss