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‘Dank Vapes’ behind majority of US vaping illness cases

December 11, 2019

Photo: New York State Department of Health/Wikimedia

US health officials have last week revealed the vape brands cited by the patients admitted to hospitals with lung damage linked to vaping.

The report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Dank Vapes was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, with 56 percent saying they had used the black market product.

Dank is not a single licensed product from a business, but a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin. Illicit vaping cartridge makers allegedly buy the empty packaging from Chinese internet sites and fill them with their liquids.

Most of the patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) had reported that they had vaped liquids that contain THC, the ‘high’ inducing psychoactive compound in marijuana.

CDC analysis has also found Vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing vaping products as a “chemical of concern” among EVALI patients.

Overall, 152 different THC-containing product brands were reported by patients. TKO (15%), Smart Cart (13%) and Rove (12%) are the other brands that top the CDC list.

Bill Loucks, co-founder of TKO Products, suggested counterfeits of their products could be the reason the brand is included in the list. He said the company sells only to licensed dispensaries in California, but gets enquiries but TKO-branded cartridges purchased elsewhere.

“If you bought them outside of California … you are the proud owner of fakes,” Loucks told AP.

A total of 2,291 hospitalised EVALI cases have been reported as of 3 December, with 48 confirmed deaths.