Health Care

Oregon vape-death patient used THC device from legal retailer

The agencies said federal and state public health officials are "working tirelessly" to investigate the illness.

"Health bureaucrats are deliberately confusing the issue to suggest that nicotine vaping is responsible when in the majority of cases the products being vaped don't meet any sort of consumer standards one should expect", he said.

Across the country, more than 200 cases of suspected vaping-related lung disease have been reported, including one fatality. "They're subject to minimal safety standards and oversights, exposing users to unsafe chemicals. and they are getting into the hands of more and more young people", Wyden said.

Public health officials in OR said Wednesday that a person who recently died of a severe respiratory illness had used an electronic cigarette containing marijuana oil from a legal dispensary, the second death linked to vaping nationwide and the first tied to a vaping product bought at a pot shop.

"CDC is now in the process of a multistate investigation", says Brian King, deputy director for research translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health who was in Cincinnati Wednesday for the Greater Cincinnati Tobacco Summit. "At this point, some of the other states have more data than us".

To avoid possible complications, the FDA says those who vape should not modify or add substances to e-cigarettes and should not buy any such substances off the streets.

"Our investigation has not yielded exactly what it is in this product", she said in a phone interview.

OR health officials say the person had symptoms similar those of more than 200 other cases of respiratory illness potentially linked to vaping.

Ann Thomas, a public health physician with the Oregon Health Authority, said that, since the surge in vaping deaths became a national issue, the state has been on the lookout for cases that meet certain criteria: an individual with an onset of respiratory symptoms, sick enough to be hospitalized, who has been vaping in the last three months.

"While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the respiratory illnesses", according to an August 30 statement from the CDC.

Conley said the fact that the OR patient had vaped a product containing THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high, was a critical distinction.

In Oregon, where marijuana is broadly legal for adults 21 and older, dispensaries can't sell products that have not been tested by state-accredited labs.

Mark Pettinger, the spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees Oregon's general use marijuana industry, did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment. Researchers worry that addicted teens will eventually switch from vaping to smoking. "More broadly, we will continue using every regulatory and enforcement power we have to stop the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use". Juul, which launched in 2015, now controls roughly three-quarters of the US retail market for e-cigarettes.

But the Cancer Council remains staunch in its position, with chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda saying there were clear indications that e-cigarettes caused serious harm to young people.

Vaping is not without risk, and the potential long-term effects of vaping remain unknown.



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