Decades Versus Days | The U.S. Vape Crisis
What Is Known:
As of October 17, 2019, the US Center for Disease Control has received reports of 33 deaths and 1,479 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping across 49 states, DC, and the Virgin Islands.
What Is Not Known:
At this time, FDA and CDC have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries in these cases, and the only commonality among all cases is that patients report the use of vaping products. This outbreak might have more than one cause, and many different substances and product sources are still under investigation. The specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, remains unknown at this time. Even though no cause has been identified, most patients report a history of using cannabis containing products. The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.
What Needs To Happen:
No matter the root cause of this vape crisis, it is critical that the legal cannabis industry demonstrates their commitment to resolving the issue by being proactive, transparent, and accountable in all communications. Education, authenticity, and candor are vital to repairing and rebuilding public trust. The cannabis industry must publicly demonstrate the steps being taken steps to prevent these issues from happening again and share the policies that will be put into place as assurance.
What Should Be Done Now:
In an effort to assist, FOCUS has developed resources for industry and consumers that are available for download and sharing. The industry resource contains suggested actions that cannabis industry operators can implement immediately to minimize further damage and begin to rebuild trust. The consumer resource contains suggested actions consumers can take to protect themselves. These suggestions are in no way exhaustive. Nor is this information intended as a resolution to this tragic crisis. A real resolution will take time, research, and the implementation of comprehensive cannabis standards across all sectors of the industry. FOCUS is here to help.
- FOCUS Industry Guidance (Downloadable PDF)
- FOCUS Patient Guidance (Downloadable PDF)
- FOCUS Days Verses Decades (Downloadable PDF)
Publications On Vape Crisis
- MMWR: E-cigarette Use, or Vaping, Practices and Characteristics Among Persons with Associated Lung Injury — Utah, April–October 2019
- MMWR: Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Suspected E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use Associated Lung Injury — United States, October 2019
- MMWR: Characteristics of a Multistate Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Use, or Vaping — United States, 2019
- MMWR: E-cigarette Product Use or Vaping Among Persons with Associated Lung Injury — Illinois and Wisconsin, April–September 2019
- MMWR: Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Electronic-Cigarette–Product Use — Interim Guidance
- MMWR: Notes from the Field: Outbreak of Electronic-Cigarette Associated Acute Lipoid Pneumonia—North Carolina, July–August, 2019
- New England Journal of Medicine: Pulmonary Illness Related to E-Cigarette Use in Illinois and Wisconsin — Preliminary Reportexternal icon