In recent months, it's become clear that vaping is not the healthiest thing you can do for your lungs. Until now, this was really all anyone could say with confidence, but a new government report finally gives regulators a roadmap to prevent e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its EVALI report with figures from August 2019 through January 2020. In a nutshell, the numbers don't look great for cannabis oil producers like Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF) or tobacco companies like Altria (NYSE:MO) that invested heavily to build new nicotine-based vape businesses. 

A vape cartridge

Image source: Getty Images.

Quality control issues 

The CDC sifted through substance use data from 1,979 reports and found a lot of overlap. About 82% of EVALI cases were reported by patients who used THC-containing products compared to 54% who used nicotine products.

Among patients who reported their THC sources, 78% reported buying from informal sources while 16% procured their cartridges from commercial sources. 

Not a good track record

Curaleaf and the rest of America's burgeoning cannabis industry still have some quality control problems to work out, but the cannabis industry's doing much better than Altria and peers. Among EVALI patients that reported nicotine-vaping sources, 69% reported getting all their products from commercial sources, while just 17% bought from informal sources.

There's a lot of overlap in the data and some gaps that mean any conclusions drawn from the CDC's report should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, it looks like stricter federal regulation of nicotine vaping companies like Altria is probably on the horizon. Meanwhile, different states are headed in different directions based on their interpretations of the report's cannabis-related findings.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.