CDC: Lung injuries associated with vaping additive (updated)

UPDATE (11/9/19): The CDC today announced that the outbreak of lung injuries from e-cigarette use has been associated with Vitamin E acetate, an additive used in vaping products.

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” the federal agency announced on its website. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs.”

The CDC is still recommending, however, that people not use THC-based vape products, especially from non-regulated sources. The Vitamin E additive has been found in some THC-based products.

“CDC tested for a range of other chemicals that might be found in e-cigarette, or vaping, products, including plant oils, petroleum distillates like mineral oil, MCT oil, and terpenes (which are compounds found in or added to THC products). None of these potential chemicals of concern were detected in the BAL fluid samples tested,” the agency posted today.

More than 2,000 cases of vaping-related lung injuries have been reported as of early November. These cases have been reported from all states. There have been 39 deaths in 24 states, according to the CDC.


Original story from October:

The federal government is still recommending that people avoid vaping and using e-cigarettes. The exact cause of 26 deaths from 21 states has not yet been determined, but the CDC said that all patients “reported having a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping products.

“Exclusive use of nicotine-containing products has been reported by some patients with lung injury cases,” the agency posted late last week on its website. “Many patients with lung injury report combined use of THC- and nicotine-containing products. Therefore the possibility that nicotine-containing products play a role in this outbreak cannot be excluded.”

Attorney General
Aaron Ford

Nevada’s Attorney General, Aaron Ford, followed the CDC’s recommendations with a news release today. 

“While federal agencies have not yet determined the cause of the outbreak, the Federal Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers not to use vaping products obtained off the street or from other illicit or social sources,” he said. “Public health authorities … are advising consumers to refrain from using all vaping products and e-cigarettes until more information is known. 

“Adults who use vaping products—nicotine or marijuana—should only purchase them from reputable, regulated retailers or directly from the manufacturer. Shop for THC products only at a state-licensed dispensary.” 

There have been nearly 1,300 cases of vaping-related illnesses in the U.S., which includes five cases in Nevada. 

“All of the reported cases involve patients with a history of e-cigarette use or vaping, and most patients reported using products containing THC,” Ford added. “At this time, the CDC cannot confirm the specific cause of the illness, nor can it identify a specific product or chemical.”

Bob Conrad
About Bob Conrad 1131 Articles
Bob Conrad is co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno as publisher and executive editor. He also works part time for the University of Nevada, Reno.

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