New York Department Of Health Says Cannabis – Not Nicotine – Cause Of Recent Outbreak
The New York State Department of Health today released one of the few first statements by officials at the state or federal level that gives a fair and accurate representation of what may have led to recent cases of lung illness. VTA applauds NYDOH for identifying unregulated black-market cannabis-containing products as the likely culprit and for warning consumers to the dangers of these products so that they are fully informed about what products to avoid.
Specifically, NYDOH explained that:
“Laboratory test results showed very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by the Wadsworth Center as part of this investigation. At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing. Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape products and was not seen in the nicotine-based products that were tested. As a result, vitamin E acetate is now a key focus of the Department’s investigation of potential causes of vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses.”
In addition, the NYDOH made the following statement, which echoes precisely the same warnings that VTA issued in a statement last week:
“Anyone using vape products should never use unregulated products purchased ‘off the street.’ Cannabis-containing products are not legally available in New York State for recreational use. These unregulated products are not tested and may contain harmful substances. Users of vape products should never modify vape products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.”
To reiterate, VTA in no way supports the manipulation or adulteration of vapor products to consume THC, THC oil, marijuana, or synthetic products like K2.
E-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing vapor products are designed for the consumption of nicotine to provide adult smokers an alternative to cigarettes; they are not intended to be used to consume illicit substances. Also, the NYDOH finding underscores the fact that while nicotine-containing vapor products are heavily regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, cannabis-vaping products are entirely “unregulated.”
According to Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians, after a complete review of all the peer-reviewed science on vapor products, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and vapor products are at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes.