As the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating more than 450 possible cases of a potentially serious lung disease linked to vaping, the American Vaping Association (AVA) draws attention to dangers of black market THC street vapes

The CDC is investigating more than 450 possible cases of a potentially serious lung disease linked to use of e-cigarettes. Five deaths linked to the lung illness have been confirmed in 5 states in the US.

The CDC said the lung illnesses are likely associated with exposure to chemicals used in e-cigarettes, commonly known as vaping. No specific substance or e-cigarette products has been linked to all cases and no evidence of infectious diseases has been identified.

“Therefore, lung illnesses are likely associated with chemical exposure,” CDC said.

The CDC said it is investigating all the cases but for now, people should consider not using e-cigarettes. Those that do vape and experience symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever or weight loss are advised to contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Some patients have reported their symptoms developed over a few days, while others said it took several weeks. The CDC recommended that young people and pregnant women should not vape. It added that adults who do not currently use tobacco should not start using e-cigarettes.

The AVA responded to the CDC’s press release and faulted the agency for continuing to fail in issuing “specific warnings about the dangers of black market THC street vapes.” AVA added that this failure “has led some states and cities to issue blanket warnings against vaping.”

AVA pointed out that the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is not walking in lockstep with the CDC. Last Friday night, the FDA issued a clear warning on the dangers of vaping THC products, which puts the agency at odds with the CDC.

Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, released the following statement:

“The CDC is weaponizing a health crisis that is clearly linked to illicit street vapes in order to scare the public about nicotine vaping products. Even the FDA appears to be growing impatient with the CDC, as over the weekend the FDA broke with the CDC’s narrative and issued a specific warning urging consumers to avoid vaping THC products.” 

“We agree with the FDA — if you don’t want to die or end up in a hospital, stop vaping illegal THC oils immediately.”

Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor of Public Health at the Boston University School of Health, also released a statement criticizing the CDC:“The rest of the story is that the parameters that the CDC has established for its investigation will ensure that it has the ability to invoke electronic cigarettes as being a possible cause for the outbreak.”

“This tells me that the CDC is more interested in protecting the illicit, underground THC vape cart black market than truly protecting the health of our nation’s youth. Apparently, being able to continue to demonize electronic cigarettes is more of a priority.”

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