ATLANTA—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed through laboratory testing that e-cigarette or vaping products with THC are the main cause in the recent outbreak of vaping deaths and lung injuries, Fox News reports. The outbreak—called EVALI—appears to be ending now, but since June, it has killed 54 people in the United States and hospitalized more than 2,500.
CDC lab data found vitamin E acetate, which is added to some THC-containing e-cigs, in the lungs of 48 of the 51 patient samples across 16 states. The EVALI outbreak happened as more people bought THC-vaping products on the black market, which has been flooded with contraband products by U.S. and international crime groups.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seized an astonishing amount of illegal THC vaping products lately. Ray Donovan, the DEA Special Agent in Charge in New York, said their office seized more than 210,000 such products in 2019, up sharply from only 38 back in 2017. “They’re being manufactured on the West Coast, Asia or in Mexico and smuggled by international organizations into the United States,” Donovan said. “It’s very easy. You can go online and get this product. You can have it delivered to your doorstep.”