Federal officials told the public on Friday to avoid using electronic cigarettes, especially those containing the marijuana component THC until further research is being conducted into the epidemic that has taken five lives so far and resulted in another 450 falling sick.
Health departments in a number of states, including Indiana, California and Minnesota, reported the latest deaths the same day as the warning by the Center for Disease Control, which said that “while this investigation is ongoing people should consider not using e-cigarette products.”
According to officials, many of the cases involve marijuana products but stress that no conclusions are to be drawn yet. Dana Meaney-Delman of the CDC has said that no device, product or substance has been linked to all cases.
However, she pointed out that people are not to buy products off the streets or modify them in any way, Politico reports.
Following testing of the THC substance by the FDA, the agency issued a warning against using products containing the chemical. The majority of tested samples also contained Vitamin E, which the FDA has said was to be avoided, even though there is no definitive evidence that it is a cause of the lung injury.
The agency’s news release said that at least one of the reported deaths involved illegal THC products, due to which the FDA has advised individuals not to buy products containing it. It has further said that 215 cases of vaping-related lung disease have already been confirmed, while another 235 are currently being reviewed.
The first such death in Minnesota involved a 65-year-old man with a history of lung issues, the state’s health department reported, while the first fatality was reported in Illinois last week. The vapers used different products and exhibited various lung disorders, said a major case study published Friday, making it more complicated to determine the exact cause of the issues.