It might be too soon to say that the main cause of vaping illnesses has been determined, but the CDC has some updates. There is a significant breakthrough in this area according to the latest reports by the Centers for Disease Control – CDC. There have been over 2000 people that have been diagnosed with the mysterious vaping-related illness also known as EVALI. One of the substances that the lung fluid of some patients contained was toxic and possibly is the cause of the illness. That substance is Vitamin E acetate.
EVALI Vaping Illness
The first cases of the EVALI illness emerged early last year. There were 2,291 people hospitalized and 48 reported deaths as a result of vaping. Among the patients, 80% said that they vaped THC and 12% stated that they vaped CBD. However, according to the last report by the CDC, the potentially toxic substance Vitamin E acetate might be the main cause of lung injuries. The Vitamin E acetate is an additive in some THC-containing products. It is possible that the patients who have been using e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC and Vitamin E acetate have caught this illness. This announcement by the CDC doesn’t rule out the possibility that other substances may cause the EVALI. However, no other potential toxins were detected in the tests.
Vitamin E Acetate Might be the Cause of the Illness
Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated the following:
“For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern, vitamin E acetate, in biologic samples from patients with lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products. These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury — within the lungs — and the samples reflect patients from states across the country.”
Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of CDC
It is very important to point out that skin creams and different topicals also contain Vitamin E. Many people even consume it as pills or in food. Even so, the consumption of Vitamin E acetate in this form is safe. On the other hand, inhaling the Vitamin E oils can be harmful because it interferes with lung function. The substance Vitamin E was found in lung fluid samples of 29 patients as reported by the CDC. Anne Schuchat adds that there are many substances in these samples that are still under investigation. For that reason, the agency can’t point the Vitamin E acetate as the main cause of the illness yet.
CDC Advises Being Cautious
To sum up, the CDC believes that the main reason for the rise of the vaping illness is overexposure to the chemical Vitamin E acetate found mainly in THC containing products. And it seems that most of these products came from one dealer on the black market. The reason for that is the fact that marijuana is still illegal in some states. Anyway, the CDC has more research to do. And until they officially determine the main cause of the EVALI, they call on the cannabis retailers to stop adding Vitamin E acetate to vaping products. Furthermore, they recommend the users to be careful when choosing vape products. Also, to avoid vapes that contain nicotine or other substances that can be addictive.