12 cases of vaping lung disease in Alabama; 150-plus brands associated with illness

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Teri West | The Jersey Journal

Flavored vaping products behind the counter of V.Y.R.T Glass and Vapes on Central Avenue in Jersey City.

By Leada Gore | [email protected]

Twelve cases of a lung disease linked to vaping have been reported in Alabama, according to state health officials. The numbers come as the Centers for Disease Control has identified 150-plus THC-containing products used by patients with the lung ailment now known as EVALI.

Nationally, there have been 2,291 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarettes with reports from every state. The Center for Disease Control said 48 deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and Washington, D.C.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said the Alabama cases are included in the national figures. The agency is asking health care providers to report any cases of suspected serious respiratory illness they treat among patients who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.

Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

No single product

CDC data shows some 152 different products containing THC – the high-inducing chemical in marijuana – were reported being used by EVALI patients. The most commonly used products varied by region of the country: Dank Vapes, a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products, were most commonly reported in the northeast and South while TKO and Smart Cart brands were reported more often in the West. Rove was more common in the Midwest.

According to the CDC, there’s growing evidence the lung ailment involves THC-containing products with vitamin E acetate though the CDC said there’s no single source for the ailment.

“Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation, and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak,” the CDC said.

Health officials have advised people not use THC-containing e-cigarettes or vaping products, particularly those obtained through informal sources such as friends, family or on the street. People are also advised not to add any substances to their e-cigarettes or use them in a way the manufacturer did not intend.

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