The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to stop vaping THC products as the death toll from a mysterious lung disease rises with no signs of abating.
The vaping-related illness has sickened 805 people across 46 states and one territory, the CDC said Friday. One person died in Oregon this week, bringing the death toll from the disease to at least 13; a new death in North Carolina also may have been related.
THC, or the compound that produces a high in marijuana, was used by patients in most of the cases, CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat told reporters Friday. However, health officials still do not know what specific chemical is making people sick.
The New York Times reports:
Vaping cartridges containing THC and labeled “Dank Vapes,” as well as some other illicit brands, are linked to the severe lung disease that has recently emerged among people who use vaping devices and e-cigarettes to inhale THC or nicotine, or both, health officials said on Friday. But they also said Dank Vapes appeared to be a label that THC sellers can slap on any product, and is not a specific formulation or a single product. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
“Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution,” said a report published on Friday by state health officials from Illinois and Wisconsin, and from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.