CDC Data Show THC Vape Products Play ‘Major Role’ in EVALI

PHOTO: Shannon Laura/

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its ongoing EVALI report and said investigative data showed that as of mid-January, 82 percent of patients hospitalized with EVALI had used THC vape products. The vaping-related respiratory illness so far has affected nearly 2,700 patients and caused sixty deaths.

Latest reports said of 82 percent of patients who reported using THC vape products, 33 percent said they’d used THC vape products exclusively. The CDC’s statement said the majority of THC e-cigarette products that patients used were “particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online dealers, are linked to most EVALI cases, and play a major role in the outbreak.”


Half of those who reported using only THC vape products provided further information; 78 percent of them had acquired products from “informal” sources; 16 percent said they’d purchased products at a commercial vendor, including dispensaries, vape and smoke shops, and pop-ups; and 6 percent said they had acquired products from both informal and commercial sources.

A study of 121 EVALI patients in Illinois showed 14 percent reported using nicotine vape products exclusively. As such, the CDC said that they could not pinpoint THC as a specific cause for EVALI.

In December, study results showed that vitamin E acetate might also play a role in the lung damage caused by EVALI. Officials involved in the investigation also have not ruled out a toxic reaction being caused by a combination of ingredients or super-heating of compounds during the vaping process.

In a related story – the New Year was marked by an EVALI fatality in Texas, which also, sadly, was the youngest victim yet to succumb. Officials from Dallas County Health and Human Services announced that a 15 year old had died. They gave no further information about the patient or details surrounding the death.

Texas officials did reveal that the patient had been hospitalized after reportedly vaping for only one month, but did not reveal what type of vape products the teen had used.

Ed. Note: This is a developing news story, more information will be added as it becomes available. See mg‘s previous coverage for earlier details about the epidemic.