New vaping update
New vaping update was released by the CDC on December 6th, 2019, bringing some clarity to the US vaping epidemic. National data has been closely analyzed from EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury) patients, and it doesn’t look like one vape product or brand is to blame. There were 152 different vape products / brands that contained THC associated with EVALI hospitalizations.
One black market THC product called “Dank Vapes” happened to be the most commonly used vape among patients nationwide. There were also a few other brands also identified among the ill, but they were mainly found in western markets, like California.
Laboratory testing was completed by the CDC using lung fluid samples from select patients. Results revealed that 82% of patient samples contained THC, while 62% revealed nicotine. What really stood out was that 100% of the samples contained vitamin E acetate, which was a prime suspect earlier in the investigation. No other chemicals of concern we isolated in this collection of samples. This means there is a direct correlation between vitamin E acetate and the “area of injury within the lungs of impacted EVALI patients”.
Vitamin E is a popular oil that is commonly used in skin care products, and even found in some of the foods we eat. The compound is generally safe when ingested or absorbed through the skin, but the CDC cited that prior research indicates that when the vitamin is inhaled, it can disturb ones lung function.
To date there have been 2291 EVALI hospitalizations throughout all 50 states, and a total of 48 deaths from 25 states have been reported. Although it appears the number of new cases have dropped significantly since the peak, new incidents are still occurring and the investigation is far from over. The CDC doesn’t want to rule out other chemical compounds as a potentially culprit.
To stay on top of the vaping investigations, periodically check the CDC website for updates.