KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The United States’ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that most lung disease cases in a vaping-linked outbreak were linked to e-cigarettes containing THC that played a major role.
Fox News reported CDC as saying also that the outbreak of such lung injuries, known as EVALI, appeared to be coming to an end, after over 2,500 patients were hospitalised and 54 killed nationwide in the US outbreak.
Recent CDC lab data reportedly showed that vitamin E acetate — an additive in some e-cigarettes containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — was found in the lungs of 48 of 51 patients sampled from 16 states.
According to Fox News, THC was present in most of the tested samples and most patients reported previously using THC vaping products, especially illegal ones purchased by themselves, their friends, family, or online dealers.
Ray Donovan, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Special Agent in Charge in New York, told Fox News that the number of black market THC-containing e-cigarettes his office seized in the state grew from just 38 in 2017 to over 210,000 this year.
“They’re being manufactured on the West Coast, Asia or in Mexico and smuggled by international organisations into the United States,” Donovan was quoted saying. “It’s very easy. You can go online and get this product. You can have it delivered to your doorstep.”
He said unlike legitimate vaping companies, it’s unknown what is exactly in illegal THC-containing e-cigarettes because they’re unregulated.
“There’s no quality control here. So you don’t know exactly how much THC is in the product, we’re seeing 70 per cent to 100 per cent potency in some of these products,” Donovan was quoted saying.
“It’s dangerous because we see more and more young kids utilising THC or cannabis products, having psychotic episodes or long term lung disease.”