The outbreak of lung disease and subsequent deaths related to e-cigarette products has been a cause for nationwide concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning to suspend use of all vaping products until a source for the outbreak can be determined.
Many states have joined in and banned the sale of vaping products temporarily in an effort to protect citizens from potential harm. Four states have banned the sale of products and others have issued warnings and increased the focus on products that specifically target youth and teens.
The CDC issued an update regarding their findings in the ongoing investigation of the rash of lung illness and death believed to be linked to vaping. Thus far, there have been 805 cases of reported illness and 13 confirmed deaths.
The CDC now believes there’s a link to products that contained THC and this recent outbreak. It can’t, however, confirm that only those patients who used THC fell ill. According to a CDC press release approximately “77% of patients reported using THC-containing products, with or without nicotine-containing products; 36% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products; and 16% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.”
The CDC can’t yet isolate any specific vaping product or brand. Many victims report using a brand called “Dank Vapes,” but there’s no way to isolate the origin or ingredients to these cartridges. Most patients report using pre-filled cartridges and, as Parentology reported last week, because there’s no real regulation to the production and distribution of these products, it’s difficult to isolate what may be causing so many people to become sick and, in some cases, die. Patients reporting illness are from all over the country and range in age, but the median age is around 23.
In the interim, the CDC is still cautioning people to refrain from the use of any vaping products while they continue their investigation, especially those containing THC. “CDC is committed to finding out what is causing this outbreak of lung injury and death among individuals using vaping products,” Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. “We continue to work with FDA and state partners to protect the nation from this serious health threat.”