ALBANY, N.Y. (News10) – Most of the patients impacted by a severe lung illness that’s led to two dozen deaths nationwide reported using THC-containing products, according to a recent report by the Food and Drug Administration. THC is a chemical in marijuana which is responsible for giving users the ‘high.’
The CDC and FDA say THC vaping products play a role in the outbreak, where more than 1,000 people have gotten sick.
The report was released around the same time a 17-year-old boy from the Bronx died, marking the first vaping-related death in New York, and youngest victim across the country.
“Based on the information we have, we’re exploring both possibilities of nicotine and THC being involved,” a spokesman for the Department of Health told News10 when asked for more details about the Bronx death.
As of October 8th, at least 114 cases were reported statewide, with 20 lung illnesses in the Capital Region.
Despite these findings, Governor Andrew Cuomo is advocating for a ban of the sale of e-cigs in New York, calling it a ‘teen vaping epidemic.’
Critics say lawmakers are conflating the ‘teen vaping epidemic’ and respiratory deaths as one issue. They said the recent deaths are a result of the usage of black market THC cartridges, not FDA approved nicotine vaping products.
The FDA’s top recommendations to the public:
- Do not use vaping products that contain THC.
- Do not use vaping products—particularly those containing THC—obtained off the street or from other illicit or social sources.
- Do not modify or add any substances, such as THC or other oils, to vaping products, including those purchased through retail establishments.
- No vaping product has been approved by the FDA for therapeutic uses or authorized for marketing by the FDA. The agency recommends contacting your health care provider for more information about the use of THC to treat medical conditions.