With the rise in popularity of vaping devices, many people now either use a vaping device or know someone who does. A lot of people find the devices to be a welcome alternative to cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use. But a months-long national outbreak of health-related issues related to vaping continues, and the number of serious medical cases and deaths rises each week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 42 people have died as a result of vaping-related illness and the number of confirmed and probable lung injury cases has increased to 2,172. The majority of the affected patients are teenage boys and young men, according to STAT.
For the first time, the CDC also named the toxin it believes is causing vaping lung disease: vitamin E acetate. When the vaping devices heat up the cartridges or pods, artificial flavors and various types of oils are heated along with the rest of the ingredients in the liquid. During the vaping process, heated oil particles are inhaled and then act as an oil coating on the lungs, preventing clear breathing and introducing dangerous chemicals into the respiratory system.
What Is Vitamin E Acetate?
α-Tocopheryl acetate, also known as vitamin E acetate, is a synthetic form of vitamin E. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows for the inclusion of vitamin E acetate in nutritional supplements and skin creams. The FDA is also in charge of regulating tobacco products, including nicotine vape products.
Vitamin E acetate is an additive in the production of e-cigarettes and vaping products and a thickening agent in THC products. Vitamin E, while safe to include in some products, is not safe to inhale, as its consistency can keep the oil stuck in one’s lungs, interfering with pulmonary functions. CDC testing found the chemical in all lung fluid samples from 29 patients (including two who died) from 10 states infected with vaping lung disease.
Additionally, a cannabis testing company tested THC samples sold in California and reported a high degree of vitamin E contamination in illicit market samples. Of the 15 illegal market cartridges tested, nine had vitamin E acetate at concentrations of 20%-50%. None of the more than 200 legally sold brands contained the chemical in these concentrations.
Of the 419 THC-containing products the Food and Drug Administration has tested, 50 percent contained the sticky substance so far. Meanwhile, Utah researchers found the chemical vitamin E acetate in 89 percent of the THC-containing cartridges tested. Regardless of the concentration level of this dangerous chemical found in the cartridges or pods, evidence is becoming more and more clear that inhaling vitamin E can lead to serious health consequences.
Dax F. Garza, P.C. is currently accepting e-cigarette induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or a loved one has been injured, you should contact our vape injury lawyers immediately for a free consultation.