Ex-FDA Head Gottlieb Points to Illegal Products in Explaining Recent Lung Illnesses

Ex-FDA Head Gottlieb Points to Illegal Products in Explaining Recent Lung Illnesses
  • Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb calls for government regulation of cannabis products, following a string of mysterious lung illnesses and deaths.
  • There have been 450 possible cases and five deaths from a mysterious lung disease that health officials are associating with the use of Vitamin E oil in THC Cartridges.
  • Most of the patients reported vaping both nicotine and THC, the marijuana compound that creates a high.  Only a minority of the patients reported vaped nicotine alone.  Many suspect those patients are not forth-coming with information about their illegal THC usage.
  • The FDA says most of the THC samples tested as part of investigations into the lung condition contained Vitamin E acetate.

On Monday, Ex-FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb said in a CNBC interview, "“People who are vaping nicotine and having these reactions probably are vaping illegal products that are counterfeit,”

Gottlieb said the current belief is the illnesses are linked to illegal vapes containing vitamin E oil — used as an emulsifying agent and potentially lethal when inhaled.

Though he is no longer associated with the Federal Drug Administration, his views seem to be in line with the current FDA warning on the subject.  While the FDA is normally an enemy of the vaping industry, they have made the distinction between vaping e-liquids and consuming illegal THC cartridges (especially when purchased off the street):

“Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores,” the agency said.

Still, other agencies and politicians have manipulated the misinformation in an attempt to ban flavors or e-cigarettes entirely.

Sen. Dick Durbin will hold a press release this morning to call for immediate action from the FDA regulating the industry and banning flavors.

And the CDC is still irresponsibly warning against use of all vaping products, not specifically THC cartridges, which are believed to be at the center of the problem.

Greg Conley of the American Vaping Association said, "No adult smoker should be scared off from using store-bought nicotine vaping products to quit or reduce smoking. Nor should any vaper be misled into believing that relapsing back to smoking is a better option than continuing to vape."


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