The vaping outbreak in the United States has now seen more than 2000 people fall ill, according to the data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The illness, which as per the latest study, is occurring because of vitamin E acetate.
According to the account of the CDC, they have found the aforesaid chemical in the lungs of 29 patients across 10 states. Earlier this month, the federal agency confirmed that 2,051 probable lung injury cases in link to e-cigarettes have already been registered, with an increase of 163 cases from a week earlier. The number included 39 deaths.
“These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
Other than vitamin E acetate, THC – the psychoactive compound in marijuana – was found in 23 patients. Although it was already known that most people having lung illness had vaped some product containing vitamin E acetate and THC, it is for the first time that the chemical had been found in liquid form.
Throwing caution to the wind, the agency officials also said that though they cannot discard all other toxic substances causing the epidemic, but that it may take animal studies to find how vitamin E acetate causes lung injuries, the major reason for vaping outbreak in the nation.
“To me what’s important here is both what they found, and what they didn’t find” said Scott Becker, head of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. “This was the only thing they found,” he added.
For the latest report, the CDC used fluid extracted from 29 patients, including two who died of their illnesses.
Notably, vitamin E acetate has only recently been used as a thickener in vaping fluid, especially in black market vape cartridges. However, this does not mean that substance as a whole is dangerous and can’t be consumed as a pill or applied as a lotion to the skin.
Post finding that vitamin E acetate and THC are the major components, Juul Labs, maker of the top-selling e-cigarette brand, said that its nicotine products do not contain any of the two.
Vaping outbreak in the US is causing irreversible damage and with the end results as catastrophic as death, it only ironically to say that the numbers are only multiplying each week.