Staff at the Womack Army Medical Centre claim to have treated more than twenty-four soldiers for issues caused by vaping. The symptoms being reported range from intense headaches to life-threatening seizures. It doesn’t end there as staff assert that “dozens more” have been treated at Camp Lejeune’s Naval Medical Centre too – with soldiers claiming to have lost consciousness, suffered an uncontrollable seizure, and been struck by amnesia – bringing the total to in excess of sixty serving people.
Lieutenant Colonel Pamela DiPatrizio is the chief nursing officer at Womack’s emergency centre. She said: “It is a big concern as we’re worried about their safety. Theirs and the community.”
She said that Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune are coordinating with the North Carolina Department of Health and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). She believes the issue is all down to “vaping oils”, and that eliquid acts like synthetic cannabis products like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The problem arises, she mistakenly claims, because vaping is unregulated.
Unsurprisingly, Colonel Ken Shaw agrees with her: “They aren’t regulated and we don’t know if they’re safe. And you don’t necessarily know what you’re getting.”
Their warning states: “Although some vape oils may contain CBD oil, CBD, THC, and/or synthetic cannabinoids, many vape oils do not disclose that they may contain illegal and/or potentially hazardous substances to include synthetic cannabinoids.”
Official advice to the military is that “e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others,” and that “scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.”
Eyebrows have to be raised given that the incidents appear to be wholly unique to these military sites, and would indicate that the issue isn’t to do with vaping but with soldiers misusing substances. This hasn’t prevented them producing a highly informative video though: