KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — People who died in the United States outbreak of lung injuries connected to vaping often used products solely containing THC, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CNN reported new numbers from CDC which revealed that among 19 such fatalities with available data on what substances were vaped, 63 per cent reported exclusive use of products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, 84 per cent reported any use of these products, 37 per cent reported vaping nicotine-containing products, and 16 per cent said they had only vaped products with nicotine.
The median age of the 29 deaths analysed in the new CDC report was 45, with 59 per cent comprising males. The youngest death was 17 and the oldest, 75.
A total of 36 vaping-related deaths have been reported in 24 states and Washington DC. As of October 22, 1,604 lung injury cases linked with e-cigarettes have been reported in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, said the CDC.
About half of all cases, including two deaths, have affected people below 25.
CNN reported that the latest study on 867 patients showed that 86 per cent reported vaping THC-containing products, 64 per cent reported using products with nicotine, 52 per cent said they used both products, 34 per cent reported exclusive use of products with THC, and 11 per cent said they used only products with nicotine.
“The data do continue to point towards THC-containing products,” Dr Anne Schuchat, CDC’s principal deputy director, was quoted telling the press last Friday.
“But I’d like to stress that we don’t know what the risky material or substance is. THC may be a marker for a way that cartridges were prepared or way that the devices are producing harm.”
Mitch Zeller, the director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the US Food and Drug Administration, reportedly said self-reports could be unreliable, as some of those claiming exclusive use of nicotine-containing products could come from states where THC is illegal.
The CDC has recommended “that you do not use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC,” as the specific cause or substance implicated in the current outbreak is still unknown.