With recreational marijuana use being legal in Washington, many recreational users of marijuana have found vaping THC to be their preferred method of ingesting. But in light of the recent outbreak of mysterious lung illnesses and deaths related to vaping, on Friday, September 27, 2019, Governor Jay Inslee issued an executive order banning all flavored vaping products in Washington. The Washington Board of Health is expected to issue a temporary ban on October 9, and the ban could last for 120 days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 800 cases of lung illnesses and 12 confirmed deaths related to vaping. All who have died were vaping some sort of liquid with both nicotine and THC in it, and it is believed that the vape juice that led to the deaths was purchased “off-market,” meaning not from an accredited source.
The CDC does not know what the specific chemical exposure is that causes the lung illness. Patients who've come down with the illness experienced symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever.
Vaping in America
Vaping has become widely popular over the last several years. It has been promoted as a way for cigarette smokers to stop smoking traditional cigarettes, but companies like Juul have been accused of specifically targeting young people with fruity flavors, leading to a whole new population of young people vaping who have never smoked a traditional cigarette. According to the Food and Drug Association (FDA):
- Among middle and high school students, 3.62 million were current users of e-cigarettes in 2018.
- E-cigarette use, from 2017 to 2018, increased 78 percent among high school students (11.7% to 20.8%) and 48 percent among middle school students (3.3% to 4.9%) from 2017 to 2018.
- According to a 2013-2014 survey, 81 percent of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.
But is important to note that the key component in the recent lung illness outbreak, THC was present in 77% of the victims' vape product. It has been reported that many companies that make a cutting agent used in THC vape cartridges were using vitamin E acetate, which is extremely dangerous.
Drug Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
If you use marijuana recreationally and legally in Washington but you've been vaping, you might want to consider going back to the “old fashioned” way of smoking a real bud. But if you have been charged with a more serious drug crime in Washington, you need the experience of Steve Karimi to defend your rights. Call his office at 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form today.