CDC Does Not Recommend Using THC Vaping Products
It is a common practice among people with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vaping devices to use them to inhale tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, THC vaping products could cause serious and potentially life-threatening lung illnesses.
The CDC has named the illness EVALI, for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. So far, EVALI has taken 39 lives and caused cases of serious lung problems in every state except Alaska. The CDC has officially recommended not using vaping or e-cigarette products that contain THC.
EVALI Statistics 2019
As of November 14th, 2019, EVALI has caused the confirmed deaths of 42 people in 24 different states and the District of Columbia. The youngest victim was 17 and the oldest was 75. Staying away from THC-containing e-cigarettes may get easier the more you know about the risks associated with them. The CDC updates its information page every Thursday with more facts about the associated lung illness.
- The CDC has reported 2,172 known cases of EVALI in 49 states, the District of Columbia and 1 U.S. territory.
- Forty-two deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia (as of November 13, 2019).
- The median age of people who died from EVALI was 53.
- Most (70%) patients with EVALI with sex data available are male. Seventy-nine percent (79%) are under 35 years old.
- Among EVALI patients with information on substance use in the prior three months, 86% reported using e-cigarette products that contained THC.
- The CDC tested fluid samples from the lungs of 29 EVALI patients and found the presence of vitamin E acetate in 100% of them.
Statistics regarding the new lung illness are disturbing – especially since the CDC still has not pinpointed the exact cause. New cases of EVALI continue to crop up around the country, affecting e-cigarette users of all ages. It could be in your best interest to obey the CDC’s latest recommendation to stop using THC vaping products.
The CDC has officially recommended not using e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC. Although the CDC does not know what ingredient specifically causes EVALI, the number of people with the illness that used THC vaping products points to a potential connection. It could have a link to vitamin E acetate, which manufacturers put in vaping liquids as a thickening agent. This chemical is also common in THC products since it resembles THC oil. The CDC states the only way to assure you are not at risk of developing EVALI while federal organizations complete investigations is to stop using e-cigarette and vaping devices entirely.
Health officials have connected other serious illnesses with vaping besides EVALI. Popcorn lung, for example, could come from inhaling e-liquids that contain diacetyl, a compound found in foods such as popcorn for butter flavoring. Many e-cigarette manufacturers use diacetyl in flavored cartridges. Inhaling diacetyl could lead to scar tissue that irreversibly damages the lungs. This is one of many potential health problems associated with vaping and e-cigarette use.
EVALI is a serious lung condition that could escalate to the point of being fatal for the patient. Spotting its early signs could help a patient get to the hospital for treatment in time to prevent life-threatening complications. Although the CDC recommends eliminating the use of THC vaping products, if you choose not to stop, watch for potential signs of the associated lung injury.
- Trouble breathing
- Respiratory distress
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Weight loss
Some patients say they developed various symptoms over a few days, while others say it took several weeks. Many mistake EVALI symptoms for the flu or a simple lung infection. If you have used a vaping product in the last three months, especially to vape THC, see a doctor immediately upon noticing any of these symptoms. You could have EVALI and require professional medical care. Treatments for EVALI include IV fluids and oxygen in the intensive care unit.
If you or a loved one was affected by the use of vapes or electronic cigarettes, contact a local personal injury attorney. At Liljegren Law Group we offer free consultations and free case evaluations to people affected by these products. Call (619) 460-0109 and schedule a free consultation.