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Feds: Marijuana vape juice the most common factor in vaping-related lung disease outbreaks




Cannabis vape products should be avoided because they are what most vape-related lung disease victims used before they became ill, federal health officials said Friday.

The federal recommendation comes amid escalating actions aimed at stoking an epidemic that has affected 805 people and killed 13, including two in Oregon.

The US Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday released the most detailed information on the serious lung disease epidemic to date, with demographic and general product information from 51[ads1]4 patients and results from in-depth interviews with 86 patients in Wisconsin and Illinois.

The results showed that juice of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, dominated the cases, with 86 percent of victims saying it was what they used in the three months before you get sick. Many said they also used nicotine vapor. Sixteen percent said that they exclusively weapons e-cigarettes with nicotine.

Officials now also have specific brand names to investigate. Most of the victims in Wisconsin and Illinois vaped products branded and sold by shady online companies, including Dank Vapes, TKO, Off White and 11 others.

Oregon has five confirmed cases of vaping-related lung disease. Both the victims who died and the three who are alive are all traded to licensed stores.

Weapon products sold in Oregon stores undergo a rigorous testing process, overseen by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Mark Pettinger, a commission spokesman, said it would be difficult for retailers to sell weapons products such as Dank Vapes because it would jeopardize the retailer's licenses and would be "out and out" illegal. Such sales must be done entirely by the books, Pettinger said.

Pettinger postponed questions about what caused the Oregon Health Authority disease. He said that although his agency technically has the ability to stop selling marijuana vape products, it is waiting for OHA researchers and the governor to tell it how to act.

"There are many known unknowns," Pettinger said. "And there's a whole bunch of unknown unknowns."

Federal health officials still do not know what chemicals or chemicals are causing people to become ill.

"The exact source of this outbreak is currently unknown," said a study of what products Wisconsin and Illinois victims used.

Three state legislators have now called for a temporary ban on weapons products in Oregon, and Prime Minister Kate Brown said Thursday she is trying to find out what the governor's office can do to curb the crisis. Meanwhile, state health officials put up the urgent message.

"If you wrap, be it cannabis, nicotine or other products, you can quit," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon Health Authority health care provider. [19659015] – Fedor Zarkhin

fzarkhin@oregonian.com

desk: 503-294-7674 | cell: 971-373-2905 | @fedorzarkhin

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