Potential culprit found in vaping-related lung injuries and deaths

U.S. is focusing on Vitamin E as cause of vaping lung injuries

‘Vaping illness’ definitively linked to Vitamin E in bootleg THC vapes

In a separate report in the same journal, the Illinois Department of Public Health found that compared to vapers who did not get sick, those who had a lung injury were significantly more likely to use THC-containing vaping products exclusively or frequently, and were nine times more likely to have purchased products from illicit sources, such as from on-line or off the street.

News of the planned legislation comes after leading e-cigarette distributor Juul Labs announced it will no longer sell their mint-flavored products, which are particularly popular among teens. More than 2,000 severe cases of vaping-related lung injuries have been reported nationally, per NBC.

An anonymous vaping habits survey released by IL health officials indicated those with lung damage used black-market THC vaping products.

The Centers for Disease Control said the additive, which can cause serious lung injury when vaped, was found in 29 patients from ten different states who were all diagnosed with EVALI, or e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury.

"No other potential toxins were detected" in the lungs of victims, she said.

The study, which examined lung fluid from 29 patients who either fell ill or died after vaping, discovered that every specimen contained vitamin E acetate - an oil derived from the vitamin.

But officials said Friday that this is more direct evidence that the chemical may be to blame.

The CDC conducted laboratory tests to determine if there was any single substance present in lung samples from those who came down with the freaky illness.

The latest samples were collected through a process in which fluid is pushed into the lungs and then collected for analysis.

While vitamin E acetate is used in supplements and skin creams and does not seem to cause harm when swallowed or used topically, previous research suggests that inhaling vitamin E acetate might impair people's lung function.

Although the substance was detected in all 29 of the lung samples, which came from patients in several different states, more testing is needed to establish a causal link between exposure and injury, Schuchet said, adding that "many substances are still under investigation". Nicotine was detected in 16 of 26 patient samples.

The findings are being published in Friday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vitamin E acetate is known to be an additive in THC vapes, especially certain black-market cartridges. But Schuchat also says it's too soon to say if it's safe to use products even from licensed dispensaries: "I don't think we know enough yet to completely take the dispensaries out of the question".

State health officials in NY had first identified vitamin E acetate from several samples collected in August that were analyzed by the Wadsworth Center lab.

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