When this Dank vapes story was first published in August 2019, there were fewer than 200 cases of “vaping-related lung injury.” At the time, the condition had no name. It was unclear what products were responsible for it and what was in them that made them so dangerous.
Three months later, it’s clear that black-market THC vaping cartridges are playing a central role in the spread of vaping-related lung injury, which is now referred to as e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) by the CDC.
Vapes, the fake “company” that this original story investigated, has come to under investigative scrutiny for its role in the spread of vaping related lung injury.
CDC reports issued since August have further confirmed the facts presented in this story. In the words of an October CDC report, Vapes is not a real company, but “the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online.
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Dank Vapes is not the only black market product that have made people sick, but it is most commonly used product. In September, the CDC released a report that described the spread of EVALI in Wisconsin and Illinois. Fifty-seven of the 86 people with EVALI in that survey reported using Dank Vapes. A report in Utah also noted that Dank Vapes were the most popular black market product used by people with EVALI.
As of November, the CDC announced that vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent that’s commonly used to make black market vaping products appear legitimate is a “chemical of concern.” The announcement suggests that Vitamin E acetate could be the ingredient in THC vape cartridges that’s responsible for EVALI. When the CDC analyzed lung fluid samples of 29 patients from 10 states they found vitamin E acetate in all samples.
You can find our reporting on how Vitamin E acetate penetrated the black market vaping world in this story, published in September:
As of November 13, 2019, there were 2, 172 confirmed and probable cases of EVALI across 49 states. Forty-two people have died.
Read more about Dank Vapes, and EVALI:
Dank Vapes just one of the illegal brands linked to illnesses in CDC report
Dank Vapes are still being sold by the thousands, despite a crackdown
The solution to America’s THC vaping catastrophe may be in Canada