The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have backed away from its broad recommendation that anyone who uses e-cigarettes of any kind should consider quitting amid an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths. Instead, it is only recommending avoiding vaping products containing THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana, a narrower warning.
A warning that “the best way for people to ensure that they are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products” was gone from the CDC website as of Friday. The CDC still warns that young people and pregnant women should not vape and that nonsmokers should not start vaping.
Last fall the agency warned people to “particularly” avoid e-cigarettes with THC and zeroed in on a substance used as an additive in THC vapes as a culprit for the outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.
Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, suggested Thursday that the CDC should clarify that its warnings apply to vaping THC.
The public health risk is that kids using these illegal and dangerous THC products may not know that the CDC warnings relate to the THC products they’re using; since the CDC is not using a precise nomenclature to more clearly describe the THC vapes and dabs
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) January 16, 2020
Since the first outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries occurred in spring 2019, 2,668 people have been hospitalized and 60 have died. Until Friday, the CDC had recommended that people refrain from using all vaping products, including nicotine e-cigarettes.