VAPE NEWS: THC Lung illness patient SPEAKS OUT about alleged deceptive reporting

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VAPE NEWS: THC Lung illness patient SPEAKS OUT about alleged deceptive reporting

Sitting down with Goodwin at 806 Vapes, Caramillo disputes Harvel’s reporting that he used flavored nicotine vaping products. Indeed, he claims he told her specifically that he only vaped marijuana oils and has never been a cigarette smoker or nicotine vaper.

KVII News Channel 7 Amarillo reporter LaMyiah Harvel is in hot water. Or at least it appears she should be.

Last week, Harvel produced a story (archive link) on Benjamin Caramillo, an Amarillo man who suffered a serious lung injury from what Harvel described as the use of both THC and flavored nicotine vaping products. While Harvel’s report does include an interview with a pulmonologist who stated that THC vaping was the “most likely” cause of the illnesses, the report nonetheless leaves open the possibility that flavored nicotine products caused Caramillo’s lung illness. 

Here’s the problem — Chris Goodwin, who owns a local vape shop called 806 Vapes, was also interviewed for the story, in which he explained that THC vaping products contaminated with vitamin E acetate were being linked to the lung illness. After the program was over, Goodwin and Caramillo ended up connecting.

And that’s where Harvel’s contention that Caramillo used flavored vaping products seems to fall apart. 

 

Sitting down with Goodwin at 806 Vapes, Caramillo disputes Harvel’s reporting that he used flavored nicotine vaping products. Indeed, he claims he told her specifically that he only vaped marijuana oils and has never been a cigarette smoker or nicotine vaper. 

“I told them I never vaped e-juice. Only THC products. And I clearly told them that I got them from dispensaries. I wasn’t buying them off the street somewhere. And they threw the vape industry under the bus for it,” said Caramillo, who admitted to going out-of-state to an unnamed location to purchase his THC cartridges.

Caramillo, a veteran of the U.S. armed forces with PTSD and physical health issues, even tried to turn his health issue into a positive by pushing for more support for veterans like him. However, none of that footage made the final cut. 

“I tried to get in some advocacy for the vets, you know, for the Texas vets who get discarded like they’re not important. I still believe 100% in the marijuana industry in general. I believe people need access to that plant. Especially the vets. And when I tried to put a word out on that in the Channel 7 story, they didn’t make one single mention of it,” he says in the video. “From the second I went in, I told them that all I vaped was THC because of my PTSD. I do not vape any nicotine. And they ran with the story they went with and it was totally wrong.”

If what Caramillo alleges is true, Harvel’s journalistic ethics should be called into question by her employer. Instead of conducting interviews and producing a story based on the information she learned, Harvel appears to have written a story to conform to what she wanted the story to be. In other words, she or her producers wanted to run a story linking flavored nicotine vaping products to the recent illnesses, and did so even though Caramillo stated that he only vaped THC products.

After receiving criticism, Harvel appears to have set her Twitter account to private. The video is still posted to her Facebook page

If Harvel or her station wishes to dispute Caramillo’s allegations, we invite them to submit a response to us or update their story. We will update this posting if that occurs. 

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