The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed from its website a broad guidance stating people should stop vaping in response to the outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.
The CDC first said people should stop using all vapor products in September but later narrowed that recommendation to vapor products containing THC—the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The new recommendation no longer includes the broad reference to stopping vaping, though the agency still says youth, pregnant women and nontobacco users shouldn’t vape.
“Recommendations were refined to reflect the best available scientific evidence and to best protect public health,” said Brian King, the chief science officer for the CDC’s vaping-related outbreak response.
Evidence has linked the vaping-related illnesses and deaths to vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent used in vape oils that contain THC. There have been 2,668 hospitalizations from the vaping-related illness as of Jan. 14 and at least 60 deaths, the CDC said. Hospitalizations have slowed since peaking in September, but new cases and deaths are still being reported.
The CDC also made a distinction between the vaping-related illnesses and the uptake in youth vaping, two different epidemics, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.