Nov 8, 2019

Health officials make "breakthrough" in search for cause of vaping illness

Photo: Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Federal health officials have found vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 patients diagnosed with a mysterious vaping-related illness, the Centers for Disease Control announced Friday, a "breakthrough" in the search for the culprit of the mysterious disease, the Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: The development further links vitamin E acetate as "a very strong culprit of" the illness, said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the CDC, per the Post. But the agency isn't ruling out other compounds or ingredients as sources for the illness, which has afflicted more than 2,000 people, and killed 39.

  • Officials need to conduct additional testing, Schuchat noted, some of which will be completed on people who vaped and did not become ill.

Of note: Investigators also found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in 23 of the patients. Most patients who have fallen ill in the outbreak have vaped THC, officials have said.

Flashback: In early September, state and federal health authorities homed in on vitamin E acetate as they tried to determine the cause of vaping-related illnesses. The compound turned up in marijuana products that patients had used.

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Vaping and vitamin E acetate: What we know

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More evidence supports the theory that vitamin E acetate in vaping products may be causing thousands of lung injuries and dozens of deaths among Americans.

Driving the news: Illegal THC-containing e-cigarette or vape products from 11 out of 12 patients in Minnesota with lung injuries also contained vitamin E acetate, according to a report from the CDC on Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019

Age to purchase tobacco, e-cigarettes raised to 21 in New York

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images

As of Wednesday, the legal age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarettes in the state of New York has gone up from 18 to 21 years old, NBC 4 reports.

Background: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law this summer in an attempt to curtail health threats associated with the use of tobacco products. The Health Department and New York State Police will perform undercover retail checks to determine where vaping products are sold to underage youth, according to a press release cited by CNN.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

CDC confirms 2,807 hospital cases of lung injury linked to vaping

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

There are 2,807 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health