Vaping is one of the newest—and hottest—products to emerge out of today’s cannabis market. For many, vaping THC cartridges provides an incredibly discreet and convenient way to consume weed.
But a flurry of new reports from around the country suggest there could be some serious health problems linked to vaping. Most recently, health officials in Kansas have confirmed what has become the sixth vaping related death in recent weeks.
Death in Kansas Linked to Vaping
Earlier today, officials in Kansas confirmed that a person over age 50 died from a lung disease linked to vaping or the use of e-cigarettes. So far, it is unclear exactly what type of vaping products the person consumed.
Health officials in the state said the person already had an underlying health condition that may have been exacerbated by vaping.
“The patient had a history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly,” officials said in a news release.
Also in the release, Kansas State Health Officer and Secretary of the State Department of Health and Environment, Dr. Lee Norman, urged Kansans to avoid vaping.
“If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop,” Norman said. “The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify.”
He added: “I’m extremely alarmed for the health and safety of Kansans who are using vaping products and urge them to stop until we can determine the cause of vaping related lung injuries and death.”
The Beginning of An Outbreak?
This most recent death is the latest in what appears to be a growing string of related deaths. Already, some in the media and elsewhere are referring to it as an “outbreak.”
In fact, the death in Kansas is the sixth vaping related death in the U.S. in recent weeks.
Along with this most recent death, officials in Minnesota, Los Angeles, Oregon, Illinois, and Indiana all reported similar casualties.
In each of these cases, vaping was involved. And officials suspect that vaping caused or contributed to the lung injury or sickness that caused the deaths.
Not Sure What’s Causing These Deaths
So far, it is not clear what exactly is causing these deaths. In fact, it’s not even clear if these deaths are coming from THC cartridges, generic vape cartridges, or e-cigarettes.
But, as reported by the Washington Post, officials could be getting close to figuring it out.
Specifically, some officials think that these deaths could be linked to THC oils that have been diluted with a substance called vitamin E acetate. This substance is an oil derived from vitamin E that can be harmful to humans.
Recently, authorities have found the presence of this oil in THC cartridges. This is especially true of THC cartridges sold on the illegal market.
In addition to growing concerns regarding the ingredients used in THC cartridges, there are also concerns over the hardware used in vaping. Specifically, the heating coils used in cartridges.
In April, heath officials in Michigan were alarmed when they found lead in vape pens. They soon found out that the heating coils used in some cartridges can leach lead or other heavy metals when heated up. Those metals then enter the lungs and body of whoever consumes the vapor.