Nov 26, 2019

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.

  • 20 THC-containing products seized during September 2019 contained vitamin E acetate, the study shows. But 10 products tested in 2018 before the outbreak began did not contain the ingredient.

What's happening: Vitamin E acetate is a viscous oil used as an additive in cannabis vape cartridges, allowing thicker clouds to be exhaled.

  • The oil is often used in foods and cosmetics and is not harmful when ingested. Vaporizing and inhaling vitamin E acetate, however, can cause fat to enter the lungs, leading to a sometimes fatal condition called lipoid pneumonia.

The backdrop: The FDA also tested several vape brands in October, which showed vitamin E acetate concentrations of 31% to 88% and lower-than-expected THC concentrations.

  • Most patients interviewed say they obtained these vaping products from black market retailers or from friends, the CDC says.

The bottom line: Health officials are still not ruling out other ingredients or causes of these cases, but cautioned vitamin E acetate should not be added to vaping products.

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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

Mass. becomes first state to outlaw flavored tobacco and vaping products

Protestors against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's vaping ban on the front steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill into law on Wednesday for a sweeping ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes.

Why it matters: The Act Modernizing Tobacco Control law is the first of its kind prohibiting these products permanently and on a statewide basis. The ban on flavored vaping products will be effective immediately, while the outlawed sale of menthol cigarettes starts June 1, 2020 in the wake of the vaping epidemic, resulting in illnesses and deaths across the country.

Go deeper: Vaping and vitamin E acetate: What we know

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

New York City bans non-tobacco vaping flavors

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Manhattan is expected to become the largest U.S. city to ban all vaping flavors except tobacco, after its city council voted on Tuesday in favor of the ban, as Mayor Bill de Blasio is anticipated to pass the bill into law, CNBC reports.

The big picture: There are 2,290 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury in 49 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories and 47 deaths associated with e-cigarette use as of Nov. 20, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019