Vaping crisis: CDC releases full list of vape brands that may have killed 48 people
About 56% of vaping-related lung injury victims used Dank Vapes, which can be easily found in the black market
Vape brands may have a role to play in the vaping-related lung injuries outbreak that the country is witnessing, suggests a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In their report, the CDC evaluated various vape brands that could have triggered the crisis. The lung injury patients used 152 different THC-containing product brands. Of these brands, about 56% of vaping-related lung injury victims have reportedly used a brand of a questionable reputation. The brand called Dank Vapes is sold in the black market, says the CDC. CDC's October report states that Dank Vapes is not a real company, but “the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online".
Other names have emerged too, including TKO, Smart Cart and Rove, with them accounting for 15%, 13% and 12% use among EVALI patients, respectively.
With this report, the case against THC, a cannabis compound, is growing stronger. The CDC had long suspected that THC and vitamin E acetate are making people sick. As of December 3, 2019, a total of 2,291 cases have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two US territories — Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The EVALI illness has so far killed 48 people, confirmed in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
"The data further supports that EVALI is associated with THC-containing products and that it is not likely associated with a single THC-containing product brand," says the CDC. EVALI is the shortened form of "e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury".
Some of these brands showed regional differences, with some brands being used more often in a certain region over the others. "While Dank Vapes was most commonly reported in the Northeast and South, TKO and Smart Cart brands were more commonly reported by patients in the West and Rove was more common in the Midwest," CDC stated in its recent report.
As investigations continue to gain momentum, the CDC cautions, these results are not conclusive. “Many substances and product sources are being investigated, and there might be more than one cause," reads the report.
The health agency recommends that people should consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette or vaping products. “People should not add any substances to e-cigarette or vaping products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments,” CDC adds.