As of Tuesday, 48 people have died from a mysterious lung disease health officials are now calling by the mouthful “e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury,” often shortened to EVALI.
When researchers first identified the disease this summer, the only link they could find between patients was that they all vaped. But now, they’re starting to home in on exactly what the 2,291 known EVALI sufferers have been sucking into their lungs — and a shady vaping brand has emerged as a primary cause of the epidemic.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control released a list of THC vaping brands EVALI sufferers said they used prior to contracting the disease, and Dank Vapes — which isn’t so much a company as it is a label often used to market black-market cannabis oils — accounted for 56 percent of the products.
Other vaping brands used by EVALI sufferers included TKO (15 percent of products), Smart Cart (13 percent), and Rove (12 percent).
This is valuable information, because it could help ensure more people don’t fall victim to EVALI — but given that 20 percent of the 1,782 hospitalized patients the CDC has information on say they never vaped THC, it doesn’t entirely clear up the mystery behind the ongoing vaping epidemic.
“THC-containing products continue to be the most commonly reported e-cigarettes, or vaping, products used by EVALI patients, and it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI,” the CDC wrote on Friday.
“However, many substances and product sources are being investigated, and there might be more than one cause,” it added. “Therefore, while the investigation continues, persons should consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.”