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‘Dank Vapes’ product identified as common cause of vaping illnesses

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There's a drug on the streets of Shelby County that's raising alarms and has even gotten the attention of the CDC.

A local woman said when she smoked a product from Dank Vapes, she was sent to the hospital, turning what was supposed to be a fun-filled vacation into a nightmare.

“Since I did the THC cartridge, I have to use an inhaler," she said.

The woman we spoke with asked not to be identified.

She said she is an avid vaper of nicotine and THC products and has been doing so with no complications for six years, until she said she got a tainted Dank Vape.

“All of a sudden I felt my heart racing, and I could not breathe," she said. "These ones that they’re making on the streets, who knows what they’re putting in them.”

According to the CDC, Dank Vapes are an illicit counterfeit THC brand sold as pre-filled cartridges.

In a recent study of 86 patients with vaping-associated lung injuries, a vast majority admitted to using the dank product.

“Dank is simply a box," said Todd Donk, owner of Zooks Vapors in Bartlett. "It’s a pretty package for a drug dealer. They can go in and buy the box. They can buy the empty cartridges, and they can do what they see fit with them. They put them in the box and sell it to the people on the street.”

Donk said the packaging is made to resemble an e-cigarette similar to the ones  you would find in any vape shop.

“A lot of parents are probably going to find that and get on Little Timmy for example, and he’ll say, 'I’m sorry, mom, it’s just vaping. I won’t do it again.’ Not being aware that it’s a street drug."

The woman we spoke with said the item is commonly sold on the streets for about $30.

She said while this does not scare her away from vaping, it does make her more aware of where she’s getting her products from.

“They’re trying to make money," she said. "They don’t care about people’s health. They don’t care.”

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