Doctors across the nation are suspecting that patients coming in to be treated for pulmonary illnesses are lying about whether or not they vape, what they’re vaping, or both. Because of this, doctors admit it is difficult to confidently diagnose and treat these patients who may have EVALI, known as E-cig/Vaping product-use Associated Lung Injury. From the thousands of reports and studies since the outbreak, it is known to health officials that THC and Vitamin E Oil are the main culprits making people ill in these cases, which increases the concern that many patients are still reluctant to admit they are vaping THC.

Dr. Michael Plisco, a critical-care pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, expresses that one of his patients risked his life by not admitting to vaping THC when he was. Plisco said he could have directed him to quit which may have helped him before it was too late but believed “in his mind, he wasn’t hurting himself.”

“It may turn out there are only two kinds of people who get this disease: those who vape THC and those who won’t admit it.”

CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat

State Health and CDC Officials believe patients don’t want to admit to vaping THC to spare themselves the embarrassment, judgment, and ridicule even though marijuana has been gaining more social acceptance. This ties to the fact that most people do lie to their doctors even in regard to things like exercise, diet, and alcohol consumption for similar reasons. Doctors have proven that their patients were not admitting the truth when drug tests came back positive or when they would admit to it when no one else was around, such as family members. “It’s so important to tell your doctor,” Plisco said. “Most diagnoses are made on history. Very few diagnoses are made on lab tests.”