THC Is Involved In Most Vaping-Related Deaths & Illnesses, Officials Say

Photo: Evgeniy Kleymenov/EyeEm/Getty Images.
A new report indicates that e-cigarette products containing THC, a psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, could be behind a string of vaping-related deaths and illnesses across the U.S. and Canada.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest findings on Friday. While the agency has yet to determine the exact reason people are getting sick, most cases do involve the use of products with THC, especially illicit ones.
The CDC analyzed the data of 514 patients nationwide and found that about 77% used substances containing THC, with 36% saying they exclusively vaped THC products. Comparatively, just 16% of patients said they only vaped nicotine products.
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The CDC also shared statistics about who, exactly, has been hit the hardest by the outbreak. There have been 805 reported cases of vaping-related illnesses; 69% of patients are male, the median age is 23, and 91% of cases have resulted in hospitalization. 
California, Texas, Wisconsin, and Illinois are among the states reporting the highest number of illnesses. Thirteen deaths have been confirmed. And, in Canada, the first "severe vaping-related breathing illness" has been confirmed, according to the CBC.
A second study from Illinois and Wisconsin, also released on Friday, reached similar conclusions. The data, gathered between April and September, found that 87% of the 86 patients interviewed used products with THC. Most of those products were pre-packaged and obtained secondhand from friends, family, or dealers. 
No specific brand has been identified as a common cause of the problem, but 66% of the patients from Illinois and Wisconsin said they used counterfeit products labeled “Dank Vapes.”
Several statewide and national efforts are being made to regulate and possibly ban vaping products in the wake of a growing number of confirmed illnesses. As investigations into the outbreak continue, the CDC is encouraging people to refrain from using any e-cigarette or vaping products, especially illicit ones or those containing THC.
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