Vaping products containing THC may be behind the epidemic of vaping-related lung illnesses sweeping the US.
Health authorities are investigating contaminants and counterfeit substances in vape products containing THC, reports the Washington Post.
Almost 354 cases of mysterious lung illnesses across 29 US states have been tied to vaping by health officials. At least one death has been linked to the epidemic.
Many of the patients are teens and young adults, and symptoms include difficulty breathing, a cough, vomiting, fever, and chest pains. Many of those affected have been hospitalised and some were placed on ventilators.
Federal and state officials are urging the millions of Americans who use e-cigarettes to stop vaping until the cause of the illnesses is identified.
“Vaping cartridges containing THC may include chemicals or additives that are unknown, unregulated, and unsafe.”Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm
An investigation into the patients who have developed lung disease from vaping found THC products, such as waxes and oils, to be prevalent in 89% of the cases, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced yesterday.
The department is aware of 32 cases in Wisconsin. The connection to THC products is based on interviews with those affected, and the agency is working with the FDA to determine the contents of used vaping products.
“Vaping cartridges containing THC may include chemicals or additives that are unknown, unregulated, and unsafe,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
“We strongly urge people not to vape.”
Earlier this month, state authorities in Illinois announced an adult who had recently used an e-cigarette was hospitalised with a severe lung illness and later died.
They did not provide details about the person or what device or product they used.