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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.