"We're definitely hearing concern from members, and I think that's partially driven by legitimate concern for cannabis consumers and their health, but also a potential worry that the public's fear will not necessarily recognize that these illnesses are being caused nearly entirely by illicit, unregulated market products", Fox said.
Vaping has grown in popularity with the rise of e-cigarettes, which were introduced to the mass market in the U.S.in 2007.
The New York state probe is in addition to the federal review of nicotine vaping products. There are a patchwork of regulations across Canada now concerning sales and marketing of e-cigarette products.
"This is a frightening public health phenomenon", Cuomo said.
As US health authorities raced to find what was sending hundreds of healthy Americans to hospital with sudden lung disease, Israel's Health Ministry on Monday issued a public warning that use of marijuana oil in e-cigarettes "may cause death". Health officials are trying to determine whether the issue is new, or just newly recognized. Following Oregon, Indiana confirmed a third death on Thursday.
All ER patients suffered from respiratory symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Some patients have also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.
Almost 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in NY state are now using e-cigarettes, and this increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids, according to the state health department.
The investigation has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product linked to all cases, but the CDC said many patients reported using e-cigarette products with liquids that contained cannabinoid products such as THC.
Moreover, the CDC reports that there is no evidence of infectious diseases in the patients afflicted with lung disease. The disease is more likely linked to chemical exposure.
"It's attracting thousands of young people to an activity, and again, we don't know exactly what they are smoking or what the consequences are", Cuomo said. Until they can figure out what is causing the issues, they are asking users to quit vaping. There are currently 450 possible cases in 33 states now under investigation in ties with vaping. He added, "Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about causality".
State epidemiologist Tim Jones said in a statement Friday that Tennessee health care providers are reporting any patients treated for severe respiratory symptoms who have reported vaping in the weeks before they became ill. Depending on the products used, it is very possible that there are some legal products that are putting users of vapes and E-Cigarettes in extreme danger.
"We're not anxious, because we're fortunate to be a legal, licensed marijuana company that works within (a regulated environment) that prevents products like this from hitting the market", Marcus said, adding that the company has heard "almost nothing" from consumers who may have worries about the vaping illness outbreak. Every single patient in every state who has come to an emergency room with these symptoms has used vaping products.
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