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Siegel: CDC’s refusal to conduct urine testing of lung patients ‘inexcusable’

Last Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged that the vaping of contraband THC-enhanced substances is a significant threat to public health.  However, they are also still claiming that “no single product” has been identified as the sole causational factor of the mysterious outbreak of lung disorders currently plaguing the nation.

As a result, the country’s top public health agency is recommending that Americans refrain from using even federally regulated nicotine-based vapor products until its investigation is complete.  CDC officials allege that since 16 percent of the patients suffering from these respiratory ailments claim to have never vaped THC, then the agency cannot yet rule out these products as an additional possible link.

Strangely, the CDC press release also notes that precisely the same percentage of patients are also under the age of eighteen, which means that these youngsters were using vapor products illegally.  In a recent interview on C-SPAN last Saturday, Greg Conley of the American Vaping Association attempted to explain this phenomenon by presenting a rather reasonable argument that “many teens, in particular, are reluctant to admit that they are using THC.”

Related Article: Black Market THC scandal: Greg Conley of American Vaping Association appears on C-SPAN

Meanwhile in a recent Morning Consult poll of over 2,200 respondents, 58 percent mistakenly assume that legal, FDA-regulated, nicotine vapes are directly responsible for the outbreak.  This figure represents is a 20 point uptick in negative public sentiment since June of 2018. 

The ‘sentinel failure of the CDC’

As the anti-vaping fear-mongering by the mainstream press continues to escalate, many public health experts are now blasting the CDC for its’ “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” handling of the entire affair.  In a recent statement, Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University claims that this seemingly inexplicable 16 percent discrepancy could be easily clarified had the CDC simply conducted rudimentary urine testing on each patient. 

Siegel is careful to note that the youthful patients may not be lying about their alleged use of cannabis-enhanced vapor products.  Rather, they may have mistakenly believed that they were using conventional nicotine vapes that were – in reality – Black Market THC-infused look-a-likes. 

“There are thousands of counterfeit products on the market that are packaged to look like legitimate nicotine-containing products but which may contain cheaply made THC oils. There are even counterfeit JUUL-compatible pods that appear to be JUUL but are actually bootleg products and could contain THC oils. So youth may simply have no idea that they are using THC. This alone makes it inexcusable for clinicians not to test for THC in every patient.”

Furthermore, Siegel says that the CDC had enormous amounts of time to conduct this clinical analysis because the chemical THC remains in the human bloodstream for at least 4-6 weeks.  Even for irregular or sporadic users of cannabis products, the timeframe shrinks to a respectable 7-10 days.  Urine testing might not have been able to link 100 percent of the cases to marijuana use, but it certainly would have diminished the 16 percent statistic substantially. 

Related Article:  Siegel: CDC is doing ‘absolutely nothing’ to warn public of real health threat – Black Market vaping

(Image courtesy of Wall Street Journal/YouTube)

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