For many weeks, officials have searched the real cause of a string of vaping-related respiratory illnesses across the US. Now, it seems they’ve found a clue: the news reports that some of the products used by patients contained a contaminant which is oil derived from vitamin E.
The news of the contaminant comes from the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which shared the information with state officials. But it is not clear if the contaminant is truly causing the vaping-related illness, as the investigation continues, officials said.
The FDA analyzed 18 THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) samples and 12 nicotine samples taken across the U.S. The vitamin E-derived oil called vitamin E acetate was found in 10 out of the 18 cannabis products.
But tests did not find something unusual among the various nicotine products used by patients who were hospitalized, according to the officials.
New York state officials found that almost all of the cannabis samples taken from patients in the region had vitamin E acetate oil.
According to the New York State Department post, vitamin E acetate is sold as a nutritional supplement and not harmful when ingested or applied as a skin treatment. But when it is inhaled, it can coat the lungs and cause symptoms such as chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath.
There are over 215 possible cases of people hospitalized after having reported using vaping products – some who bought the products legally and others off the street. One in Illinois and one in Oregon death with vaping-related illnesses have been reported.
However, the latest research has shown that vitamin E acetate is found in more than 52% of the products seized from the patients who bought from black-market and off the street.
Vaping users have been advised to stop buying from black-market and off the street to avoid vaping containing vitamin E acetate. It is better to stay safe!