The chemical, known as vitamin E acetate, was collected in samples by FDA investigators from people who fell ill across the country. The agency found vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who got sick in New York in recent weeks, the agency said.
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What’s the problem?
Although vitamin E acetate is the only common element identified among the cases, officials said it is still too early to determine whether it is what’s causing the lung disease. Experts said its molecular structure could make it hazardous when inhaled. Symptoms reported by patients include cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, officials said.
CDC said its tests found nothing else unusual in the vaping products collected from the sick individuals. “We don’t know exactly what we’re looking for,” a spokesperson for the agency said last week.
Indeed, the illness itself doesn’t even have a specific name, as officials have been trying to come up with a specific definition for what the lung disease actually is, as well as a standardized system of collecting data from the states. Unlike traditional diseases, state health authorities are not required to report vaping related illnesses to federal officials.
As of Aug. 27, there were 215 potential cases of lung disease linked to e-cigarettes or vapes reported by 25 states, according to the CDC. Additional reports of the illnesses are under investigation.
Oregon health authorities said on Wednesday that an adult who died of a respiratory illness earlier this year had used an e-cigarette containing marijuana oil purchased from a legal dispensary. The incident marked the second death linked to vaping nationwide, officials said.
Vitamin-E Acetate Linked To Vaping Problems: CBS New York Video
Health authorities are focusing on the role of contaminants or counterfeit substances as the likely cause of the vaping-related lung disease, as many of those who fell ill after using the products say them purchased them off the street. Officials are not ruling out that possible adulterants may have contaminated the vaping products.
“No one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested,” said FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum. “Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about causality.”
Do I have a Vaping Lawsuit?
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