E-cigarettes with thahydrocannabinol (THC) sold under the Dank Vapes brand are the most common cause of lung damage associated with e-cigarettes, according to a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according tomedia. But CDC officials also point out that there are regional differences in brands associated with lung injuries and hospitalizations, which may be related to multiple brands.
As of December 3, 2,291 people in the United States were hospitalized for evaLI lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes. Only 1,782 of these patients provided information about the products they used, while 80 percent of those in the group reported using e-cigarettes containing tetrahydrocannabinol in the three months prior to the onset of symptoms. The latest data show a decline in the number of reported cases per week since mid-September, according to the CDC’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report released Thursday.
EVALIA inpatients reported using 152 different types of products with THC. Fifty-six percent of the patients who provided this information used Dank Vapes products. Other brands are more common in different parts of the United States: for example, 24 percent of hospitalized patients in western states reported using Smart Cart products, compared with 6 percent in the Northeast. In the western states, 29 per cent of inpatients reportedly use the TKO brand, compared with just 2 per cent in the southern states. Other common brands include Rove, Kingpen and Cookie.
“By understanding the brand that ISC is used by EVALI patients, we can prioritize product testing to find chemicals of concern in those products,” Matt Lozier, CDC’s epidemiological service officer and author of the new report, said in an email to The Verge. “
In addition, vitamin E acetate remains the focus of investigation into the causes of lung injury. Product tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that 76 percent of the products supplied by EVALI patients with tetrahydrocannabinol were available. Studies have shown that it can damage the inside of the lungs. However, not all of the tested tetrahydrocannabinol products containvitamin E acetate, and some patients hospitalized for lung injuries still say they are not using any products containing tetrahydrocannabinol.
For example, only 69 percent of patients interviewed about product use in Indiana said they used products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, according to data also published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.
However, the investigators interviewed only 29 of the 54 hospitalized patients in Indiana. The CDC report notes that they don’t have information about many patients using the product, making it difficult to extend their findings to the entire population with lung injuries. People may also be reluctant to say whether they are using THC products. The CDC told The Verge that they don’t have data on whether patients are more willing to talk about THC use over time.
The CDC is still investigating the cause of lung damage. However, the CDC continues to advise people to avoid products that contain THC.