What to know if you vape

By Jose Diaz

The FSW Compass has extensively covered vaping at FSW. Here are the statistics you should know, whether you continue to vape or not, in light of the epidemic reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), updated on October 24.

•      The number of vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. has risen to around 1,600 cases. 

o      There have been 34 vaping-related deaths.

o      All patients report a history of using e-cigarette (vaping) products.

o      Among 1,358 patients, 79% of patients are under 35 years old and 15% are under 18.

•     According to a CDC study of 849 patients, most report a history of using THC products. The latest national and regional findings suggest THC products play a role in the outbreak.

o      Of those 849 patients, about 78% reported using THC products and 31% reported exclusive use of THC products.

o       58% of those patients reported the use of nicotine products. Therefore, the possibility that nicotine products are affecting the outbreak cannot be excluded.

o      According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the oil derived from vitamin E acetate has been found in nearly all cannabis samples from patients hospitalized in New York and many samples from other states. The CDC has not factored this into their reports.

o     THC products from informal sources, such as friends, family members, or illegal dealers, are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.

o     The CDC recommends people consider refraining from all vaping products, including those containing THC.

What this means for FSW vapers:

•    Don’t vape marijuana. Cartridges (carts) can be tampered with, no matter how much you trust a dealer or supplier.

•     THC carts should be avoided. Natural marijuana is not factored into the CDC report.

•     CDC numbers indicate THC products play a larger role in the epidemic than nicotine products.

•    Many who don’t understand the outbreak are turning to cigarettes to avoid the fear around e-cigarettes. Don’t smoke cigarettes. There are years of evidence linking illness and cigarettes.

•     New cases are being reported every day, making it difficult to determine the causes of the outbreak.

The best thing you can do if you smoke THC carts or e-cigarettes, is to quit. Smoking leads to adverse health effects, period.

However, if you are thinking of just going back to cigarettes, stick with your vape. Buy your e-juice from trusted vape shops and research the juice to make sure it doesn’t contain unknown or unwanted chemicals.

There have been hospitalizations from exclusive use of e-cigarettes. However, evidence suggests a larger issue with THC carts. If you must, just smoke natural weed.

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