The New Mexico Department of Health has announced that all THC-based cannabis products must be correctly labeled going forward. Officials also released an updated health advisory regarding vaping incidents.
Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel issued a statement on Oct. 3 declaring that all medical cannabis producers and manufacturers are to include a label on their products, saying, “WARNING: Vaping cannabis-derived products containing THC has been associated with cases of severe lung injury, leading to difficulty breathing, hospitalization, and even death.”
According to the department, 14 individuals have fallen ill to the development of severe lung disease, with 10 of them noting that they consumed THC-based cannabis products. The department specifically notes that “the specific cause has not yet been determined, and interventions targeting e-cigarette and vaping products are necessary to protect public health.”
“We are issuing this advisory because of the potential risk to the health of many New Mexicans. Vaping lung-related injuries is uncharted territory in public health, and it is important that residents know the health risks if they make the choice to continue using any vaping products,” Kunkel said in a statement.
Kunkel notes that the health advisory isn’t a ban on vaping or e-cigarette products, but it was important to inform residents as best they could. “We want New Mexico residents to understand this is not a ban,” Kunkel added. “However, it’s important that everyone know the facts about what they’re putting in their bodies before they continue to do it, and there are health risks no matter what a person is vaping, be it THC or nicotine.”
While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the issues that have risen due to rash of vaping illnesses spreading throughout the country, matters might worsen now that flu season is about to begin. According to Dr. Sugar Singleton, it will become more difficult for patients and doctors to differentiate between the two conditions.