Health investigators in the United States are hard at work in their attempts to determine what is responsible for serious illnesses that seem to be connected to vaping. So far, investigators are considering all possibilities and are not ruling out anything. One possibility being investigated is the role of illegal cannabis products in the illnesses.
The investigation by the Centers for Disease Control is being led by Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman and is intended to determine the cause of five deaths and 450 serious respiratory illnesses afflicting patients in recent months. The deaths and illnesses have been linked to the patients’ use of vaping devices.
The CDC is encouraging individuals to refrain from using vaping devices until the exact cause of the mystery respiratory illness is uncovered.
Meaney-Delman says she and her co-workers are trying to prevent any further deaths from occurring. She says she has reviewed the case information for 64 patients and found that four out of five of the patients ingested some form of THC. This compound is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Friday to vape smokers who purchase their products ‘off the street.’ Manufacturers of e-cigarettes have distanced themselves from the situation and say the products they produce do not contain cannabis products or derivatives. Meaney-Delman echoed sentiments that vaping devices should be avoided until a definitive cause for the illnesses is determined.
Gregory Conley is the president of the American Vaping Association. Conley stands in agreement with the CDC and urges users of vaping products to stop filling the products with oils containing illicit substances.
Meaney-Delman says the CDC is not yet ready to discount vaping devices as the source of the illnesses. She says that 60 percent of the cases she has reviewed involved patients that used vaping devices for both nicotine and cannabis oils. She said 20 percent of the patients reported using nicotine alone. Meaney-Delman expanded on this thought by saying there is no one product or device that is common to all the patients that have been affected by the unexplained illness.
In the meantime, as much evidence as possible is being collected regarding the vaping history of patients. Current vapers are being asked to monitor symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and persistent coughs. These and other sudden symptoms can be a sign that medical attention is needed.