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15 Nov 2019

The US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have hailed a breakthrough in the investigation into vaping deaths and illness that has already claimed 39 American lives.

With vaping related illness cases having cracked 2,000, officials say they have detected the vitamin E acetate compound in all the lung fluid samples from 29 patients who were hospitalised after vaping.

The finding suggests a link that could prove to be responsible for the deaths and lung injuries from e-cigarette use.

Hundreds of vaping patients had acknowledged vaping THC, which is the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Tests have previously detected vitamin E in samples of THC vaping products.

“Vitamin E acetate is a known additive used to dilute liquid in e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC,” said Dr Anne Schuchat from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have detected a potential toxin of concern. These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs.

“When Vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function.”

Vitamin E acetate is usually safe to swallow or apply on the skin, and is found in many foods, skin creams, and supplements.

Published: 15 Nov 2019