The Vaping Illness Outbreak

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An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread throughout local, regional and national news. According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 380 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in the United States and the Virgin Islands.

Public health officials are taking steps to uncover the cause behind previously healthy vape users developing pneumonia-like symptoms. Currently, there is no definitive link to any brand of device, substance, ingredient or flavor, but in all confirmed cases, patients reported vaping within 90 days of developing the illness.

Vitamin E is speculated to be connected to this outbreak, but according to the Federal Drug Administration, “no one substance or compound, including vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all the samples tested.” Health agencies and officials are continuing to work hard to find the root of the cause.

 

What does Peninsula Alternative Health have to say?

As a trusted healthcare partner, we understand and share the same concerns as our patients regarding the news surrounding vaping.

While we cannot attest to any other state besides Maryland, we stand firm in believing that both Maryland and the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission are doing their job in continuing to implement some of the strictest testing in the country for all cannabis products, including vape pens.

In addition to our trust in Maryland and the MMCC, we’d like our patients to have the confidence that we are a trusted source locally for education and news regarding the cannabis industry. Patient safety is a top priority here at Peninsula Alternative Health, and with that comes a significant responsibility in executing top-notch training for our patient consultants and providing our patients with the most consistent and accurate health education.

Additionally, we are proud to carry the brand names we do and put trust in their comprehensive policies and procedures that include third-party lab testing for cannabis products. We strive to carry only the safest and high-quality products for our patients and take pride in working with the right partners. Many of these partners have issued statements of their own to continue to ensure patients of the safety of their products.

“We are acting in accordance with the MMCC who at the time being maintains the safety, standards, and regulations for Maryland medical cannabis products, processes, and dispensaries” says PAH Clinical Director Dr. Mary Pat Hoffman, PharmD. 

 

What’s next?

We here at Peninsula Alternative Health will continue to closely monitor the news surrounding the vaping illness outbreak. We will also continue to have a regular dialog with our cannabis partners and the MMCC to ensure we’re learning as much as we can to educate our patients.

If you are a patient that is experiencing any pneumonia-like symptoms and believe they are linked to vaping, please contact your medical provider immediately. These symptoms include the rapid onset of coughing, weight loss and significant difficulties of breathing.

 

What if I still have questions?

Please contact the team at Peninsula Alternative Health. We are here to help and available in person, email (contact@peninsulamd.com) and via phone (410-622-3661) to answer any questions or concerns you may have.


References

- Vaughn, E. (2019) The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far. NPR

- Cohn, M. (2019) Some medical marijuana users in Maryland reporting symptoms amid a spate of vaping-related illness. The Baltimore Sun