In 2019, there was an outbreak of lung injuries and some fatalities linked to the consumption of contaminated vape products, many of which had vitamin E acetate added to them. A new study, conducted by a joint team of Johns Hopkins University, the American Heart Association and New York University, has found that those EVALI cases were more prevalent in states that had prohibitionist laws as compared to states with legal marijuana markets.
The researchers analyzed data sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFS). Both data sets were from 2019. Specific attention was directed at four states that prohibit marijuana, seven that allow marijuana for medical use and two that have allowed it for recreational use.
The team found that there was no direct relationship between the prevalence of vaping in a state and the EVALI caseload registered there. Interestingly, they observed an inverse relationship, meaning that in states where data shows that rates of vaping marijuana were high, EVALI cases were fewer, while in the states where fewer people reported vaping, the cases of lung injuries were higher. It should be noted that higher prevalence rates of vaping occurred in states that had legalized cannabis in some way while lower vaping rates tended to be reported in states that strictly prohibited cannabis use.
The researchers posit that EVALI cases were higher in prohibitionist states, where vaping rates are lower, because the people there tend to source their vaping products from black market suppliers, thereby compounding the risk of using products that are contaminated. On the other hand, states with legal marijuana markets (medical, recreational use or both) tend to control product supplies, so consumers in those states obtain their vapes from licensed sources. These regulated sources are less likely to sell tainted products, hence the reduced EVALI caseload in such states.
The EVALI outbreak has since tapered off, and the study above supports what previous research suggested, which is, having regulated markets for marijuana acts as some sort of protective measure against EVALI. The researchers underscore the importance of continued market surveillance and consumer education so that future outbreaks of EVALI can be prevented.
These studies provide extra proof against those who say legalizing marijuana will pose a threat to public health. Conversely, the studies show that when marijuana is legalized and licensed enterprises such as Prime Harvest Inc. operate within the framework established by law, public health is protected as illicit and untested products are gradually squeezed out of the market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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