ATLANTA, Georgia (KETK) – The CDC has issued a strong warning to vapers – don’t use any products with THC.
Additionally, the health agency is urging people not to modify or add THC or other substances to products bought in stores and not to purchase vape juice or other products off the streets or from illicit sources.
The warning came in a statement issued Friday by the Centers for Disease Control in response to the rising numbers of vaping-related lung illnesses, most of which have occurred in patients who reported using THC-containing products.
That connection suggests THC products are playing a role in the these illnesses, the statement said.
As of October 1, 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 48 states and 1 U.S. territory.
Eighteen deaths have been confirmed in 15 states.
All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
Most patients report a history of using THC-containing products. The latest national and regional findings suggest products containing THC play a role in the outbreak.
Of those who have fallen ill:
- Approximately 70% are male.
- Approximately 80% are under 35 years old.
- 16% are under 18 years old
- 21% are 18 to 20 years old
To date, though, the CDC said, there still is not enough information to pinpoint a specific cause of the problem.
“At this time, the FDA does not have enough data to identify the cause, or causes, of the lung injuries in these cases. Additionally, while no one compound or ingredient has emerged as a singular culprit, we do know that THC is present in most of the samples being tested.
Because of this, the agency believes it is prudent to stop using vaping products that contain THC or that have had any substances added to them, including those purchased from retail establishments.
Simply put, inhaling harmful contaminants in the lungs could put a patient’s health at risk and should be avoided.”– Centers for Disease Control
The CDC and other federal agencies “will continue to work as quickly as possible to get to the bottom of what’s causing people to become ill,” the statement said.
The public can help, the agency said. Anyone who contracts what the agency terms “any unexpected tobacco- or vaping-related health or product issues” is urged to report the illness to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.
“As this complex investigation continues,” the CDC statement said, “we urge consumers to take heed of our warning and stop using THC vaping products, and to not use vaping products of any kind that are purchased off the street or from unknown sources.”