The opinion piece by Tom Scovill in the March 11, 2020 issue of the Mount Shasta Herald contains an incorrect statement. He asserts that the marijuana businesses in Mount Shasta “manufacture things like high THC concentrate vape cartridges that have recently been implicated in lung injuries and deaths.” That is likely not true. The Centers for Disease Control and the FDA both found in their investigations of the EVALI cases (e-cigarette, vaping associated lung injury) were from “informal sources,” that is, illegally produced products. Products sold in the state licensed stores have not been proven in this condition.

In addition, it appears that this condition was caused by a chemical irritant, not THC. The most likely culprits were vitamin E oil or polyethylene glycol, using as cutting agents. Licensed marijuana retailers (medical or adult use) do not use these agents. Finally, there have been no new reports of cases on the CDC website since late 2019.

The use of vaping for any purpose holds some risks. If being used for medical purposes, the patient should discuss the risks and the benefits of this mode of administration. All persons should refrain from using informal, non-licensed vaping products obtained from anyone other than a licensed distributor.

Ken Brummel-Smith

Mount Shasta