FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Indiana Health department reports two more residents have died due to lung illnesses related to vaping.

This brings the state total to three since early September. The number of lung illness cases due to vaping is now over 1,000 across the nation, and health officials are urging people to avoid vaping at all cost. 

Nancy Cripe with Tobacco Free Allen County says the advent of vaping has “taken us backwards in the fight to end nicotine dependence.”

“The industry just innovates and comes a long with vaping products and now we have people dying,” said Cripe. “Like, come on folks we were making progress. This is not progress.”

One local vape shop denies allegations that claims products sold in their store are the same as the products linked to the recent deaths. 

“They’ve analyzed 514 cases so far and 78% of those cases have found that the user is using THC,” said Alex Lackey, manager at Village Vapors.  “All of those cartridges they found vitamin E acetate in it, which when you vape it turns into acetone so they are basically vaping acetone.”

Lackey added that the main goal of his vape shop is to be a healthier alternative to smoking and that he believes he is on the same side as people against tobacco.