October 29, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

It’s not just THC vaping that is causing lung disease

Nicotine e-cig enthusiasts (and, to some extent, FDA) like to point out that most vapers who develop serious lung disease, now named e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI), are using THC e-cigarettes.  That is correct, but two-thirds of the people developing serious lung disease.  The CDC’s latest breakdown is

Among 867 patients with information on substances used in e-cigarette, or vaping, products in the 3 months prior to symptom onset** (as of October 15, 2019):

About 86% reported using THC-containing products; 34% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.

About 64% reported using nicotine-containing products; 11% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.

In other words,

  • 11% are exclusively using nicotine e-cigs
  • 34% are exclusively using THC e-cigs
  • 55% are using both (dual users)

It may well be that there are different mechanisms for the effects of the THC and nicotine e-cigs, which would mean that the dual users are getting a double whammy.

My guess is that it is not the THC or nicotine that is causing these problems, but rather other aspects of these products, particularly the solvents used to dissolve the THC and nicotine.

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