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Vitamin E Acetate May Be Behind Vaping Injury Outbreak


October 24, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a new report detailing data from Utah that points toward tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing vaping cartridges containing vitamin E acetate as the potential cause of the vaping-related lung injury outbreak.

The data comes from 79 patients in Utah who received chart abstractions, 70 of whom were hospitalized, 29 of whom required breathing assistance, and 53 of whom were interviewed. Of these, 49 reported use of products containing THC, 35 reported use of any nicotine-containing products, and 32 reported use of both.

Evidence of vitamin E acetate was found in 17 of the 20 THC-containing cartridges tested by the Utah Public Health Laboratory. The cartridges were provided for testing by 6 of the 53 interviewed patients.

“The potential role of vitamin E acetate in lung injury remains unknown; however, the identification of vitamin E acetate among products collected from patients in Utah and elsewhere indicates that the outbreak might be associated with cutting agents or adulterants. Ascertaining the potential contribution of diluents to the current outbreak will require data from multiple states and analysis at the national level,” according to the report.

—Michael Potts

Reference:

Lewis N, McCaffrey K, Sage K, et al. E-cigarette use, or vaping, practices and characteristics among persons with associated lung injury — Utah, April–October 2019 [published online October 22, 2019]. MMWRhttp://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6842e1.

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