Lung Injury Update: FDA Warns Public to Stop Using Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing Vaping Products and Any Vaping Products Obtained Off the Street
Audience: Consumer, Health Professional, Pulmonology
October 4, 2019 -- ISSUE: The FDA is strengthening its warning to consumers to stop using vaping products containing THC amid more than 1,000 reports of lung injuries—including some resulting in deaths—following the use of vaping products.
BACKGROUND: Over the past several weeks, the FDA has been working tirelessly along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local partners to investigate the distressing incidents of severe lung injuries and deaths associated with the use of vaping products. The latest number of reported cases and deaths, released by the CDC yesterday, continues to underscore the need for us to gather critical information and provide consumers with actionable information to help best protect themselves and their loved ones.
This alert builds on initial recommendations the FDA issued several weeks ago and is based on new information we’re continuing to learn from both patients and the samples that have been tested so far. For example, additional testing revealed that a majority of the hundreds of samples of vaping products tested by the states or by the FDA so far have been identified as containing THC. Additionally, according to recent findings, most of the patients impacted by these illnesses reported using THC-containing products, suggesting THC products are playing a role in the these illnesses. That said, some patients have reported using both THC products and nicotine products, as well as a smaller number reporting using only nicotine products. Similarly, testing on the samples collected or received by the FDA shows a variety of products, or product components, with different ingredients or delivery systems making this investigation especially challenging.
Do not use vaping products that contain THC.
Do not use vaping products—particularly those containing THC— obtained off the street or from other illicit or social sources.
Do not modify or add any substances, such as THC or other oils, to vaping products, including those purchased through retail establishments.
No vaping product has been approved by the FDA for therapeutic uses or authorized for marketing by the FDA. The Agency recommends contacting your health care provider for more information about the use of THC to treat medical conditions.
No youth or pregnant women should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using these products. If you are an adult who uses e-cigarettes instead of cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes.
If you choose to use these products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. If you are concerned about your health after using a vaping product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.
Patients, consumers and health care providers are encouraged to provide detailed information related to any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.