U.S. CDC reports ‘breakthrough’ in vaping lung injury probe as cases top 2,000 – By Julie Steenhuysen (Reuters) / Nov 8 2019
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Tests of lung samples taken from 29 patients with vaping-related injuries suggest all contained Vitamin E acetate, a discovery U.S. officials described on Friday as a “breakthrough” in the investigation of the nationwide outbreak that has topped 2,000 cases.
The discovery of Vitamin E acetate in lung samples offers the first direct evidence of a link with the substance and vaping-related lung injuries. The substance has also been identified in tests by U.S. and state officials of product samples collected from patients with the vaping injury.
In a telephone briefing on Friday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called Vitamin E acetate “a very strong culprit of concern” and referred to the discovery as “a breakthrough” in the investigation.
She cautioned that more work is needed to definitively declare it a cause, and said studies may identify other potential causes of the serious injuries as well.
Vitamin E acetate is believed to be used as a cutting agent in illicit vaping products containing THC – the component of marijuana that gets people high.
FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration