The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on Thursday announced two major actions in response to recent cases of vaping-related illness and death.
On Thursday afternoon, Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel issued an order to the NMDOH Medical Cannabis Program to require medical cannabis producers and manufacturers to add a label to their vaping products that reads, WARNING: Vaping cannabis-derived products containing THC has been associated with cases of severe lung injury, leading to difficulty breathing, hospitalization, and even death.
Secretary Kunkel also released a health advisory urging the public to refrain from vaping until current investigations are complete.
Fourteen New Mexico residents have developed severe lung injuries since June, according to NMDOH who says that they are victims of an emerging public health threat associated with vaping, particularly involving THC products.
“We are issuing this advisory because of the potential risk to the health of many New Mexicans,” said Secretary Kunkel in a statement. “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. We want New Mexico residents to understand that this is not a ban.”
Secretary Kunkel says that there are risks to vaping either THC or nicotine and that it is important for people to know that facts about what they are putting into their bodies before they do it.
According to NMDOH, there may be more vaping-related lung injury cases that have been undetected or not severe enough to require hospitalization.