NMDOH reports 8 cases of lung disease associated with THC vaping products

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FILE – In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. San Francisco has approved a bill that bans the sale of flavored nicotine-laced liquid used in electronic cigarettes and flavored tobacco products. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the ban on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Supervisors […]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting the number of cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in New Mexico has risen to eight.

The department states that all eight of the New Mexico residents have needed to be hospitalized due to their development of respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing and coughing. Five of these cases required intensive care.

The patients affected range in age from 17 to 46-years-old and live in Santa Fe County, Los Alamos County, and Bernalillo County. NMDOH reports that all of the patients that have been interviewed have reported using vape cartridges that contain THC oil.

Five of the patients are male.

“Because of the associated of this very severe new disease with vaping THC, we are advising New Mexicans not to use these products out of an abundance of caution,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel in a press release. “Our department is continuing to work with other state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate this new disease.”

More than 200 people across the United States, including one who has died, have been identified as having severe breathing problems after vaping. These symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, and fatigue.

These patients have reported vaping or dabbing in the weeks and months before being hospitalized. The devices that are currently being investigated and could contain multiple substances including THC, nicotine, synthetic cannabinoids, or a combination of the substances.

The New Mexico Department of Health is asking health care providers to report possible cases of vaping associated lung disease to the Epidemiology and Response Division at 505-827-0006.

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