Federal health officials have released the names of a handful of vape cartridge brands that patients diagnosed with lung injuries reported the most in the latest update in the vape illness outbreak.
Patients reported using hundreds of different brands, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state and local health departments involved in the investigation. In total, they identified 152 separate “THC-containing product brands”associated with patients who had e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).
“Dank Vapes, a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin, was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, although there are regional differences,” according to a page designated to outbreak updates housed on the CDC website. “While Dank Vapes was most commonly reported in the Northeast and South, TKO and Smart Cart brands were more commonly reported by patients in the West and Rove was more common in the Midwest.”
Last month, federal health officials announced that they had discovered vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 patients with EVALI, pointing to the additive used in illicit-market products as a likely culprit in the illness outbreak, a theory many posed when the outbreak first dominated headlines in September.
The CDC maintains that vitamin E acetate, while one very likely cause, may not be the only factor in the lung injury outbreak, and is continuing to advise people not vape e-cigarettes or any products, “particularly from informal sources.”
Although the number reported injuries is slowing down, with each update, the figure increases. As of Dec. 3, 2,291 people with EVALI were hospitalized and 48 people have died. The outbreak spans all 50 states, and deaths were confirmed in 25.