State and federal health officials link vitamin E acetate to the numerous lung illnesses and deaths of people that vaped marijuana. The cases are widespread all over the country with various states actually banning vaping of flavored e-cigarettes. But is this really the way to go?
- Government health officials find Vitamin E Acetate common in most of the samples they examined that were related to the lung illnesses
- The vitamin was only found in marijuana vaping products and none on tobacco vaping products, though the CDC strongly advises members of the public to keep off vaping in general
- Most of the cases involved illegal marijuana vaping purchases and Americans are highly advised to purchase from legal dispensaries
With the recent surge in lung injuries reported across America, state and federal health workers have narrowed it down to an element, vitamin E acetate.
The focus of @CDCgov & @US_FDA’s investigation on pulmonary disease among people who use #ecigarettes is narrowing, but we are still faced with complex questions in this outbreak. Reports released today are a step toward finding more answers: https://t.co/Q1G7c28zUN #vaping pic.twitter.com/RvY7mYOi5A
— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@CDCDirector) September 6, 2019
Also known as Tocopherol acetate, it has also been the key cause of six THC (black cannabis oil to speak precisely) vaping related deaths that happened in Oregon, California, Kansas, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Vitamin E acetate was as a result of unscrupulous companies making cutting agents for hash oil that is used in vaping cartridges.
This is more so in the black market to facilitate an easy and cheaper method of enticing buyers that they are actually buying real cannabis. This dangerous element is speculated to be in more than half of all cartridges across the US.
The chemical was found in most of the samples that were collected by the FDA from patients that fell ill from THC vaping all over the country. The FDA shared the news with the New York health department via a telephone briefing according to The Washington Post.
— TIME (@TIME) September 14, 2019
According to New York’s health officials, the same chemical was also found consistent in all cannabis samples that were examined from all patients that fell ill in recent weeks.
While this element stood out as the first element to be consistent across all samples tested, health officials stated that it is very early to rule it out as the sole cause of the injuries.
Vitamin E naturally occurs in foods including olive oil, almonds, and canola oil.
Vitamin E acetate is derived from such foods and is normally used as a nutritional supplement most common in topical skin treatment and the manufacture of soap.
When ingested as a supplement or applied on the skin, it is normally harmless, though it tends to become toxic once inhaled due to change in its molecular structure.
As the reported incidences suggest, it has oil-like properties that are likely to cause respiratory issues.
The most common symptoms as reported by officials are reduced breath, cough and chest pains.
According to FDA findings, there was nothing unusual in the nicotine composition of the products that they collected from the patients.
The CDC also claimed how tedious the process was since they were not particularly looking for something specific rather just trying to figure out what to look for.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 9, 2019
“We don’t know what we’re looking for,” said a CDC official.
Despite their findings, the CDC still continued on its advisory to consumers to keep off any form of vaping even though no harmful elements were found in nicotine vaping products.
“While the investigation is ongoing, CDC has advised that individuals consider not using e-cigarettes because as of now, this is the primary means of preventing this type of severe lung disease,” said Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman.
Another setback that makes the investigations stall further is the fact that unlike other infectious diseases, like measles for example, whereby states are required to report the incidences to federal authorities, with vaping illnesses, they are not compelled to it. This makes it hard to collect information from individual cases within different states.
As of last Wednesday, Oregon health officials issued a statement saying that the man that dies last July as a result of vaping an e-cig that purchased from a legal dispensary and had marijuana oil in it. IIt was the second death on the national tally linked to marijuana vaping.
According to a physician with Oregon Health Authority, Ann Thomas,
“It was surprising that the patient suddenly appeared without any other underlying health conditions and became ill enough to die from this syndrome.”
The first vaping related death was reported in Illinois, even though the kind of product used was not specified. The other remaining four cases were all vaping devices bought in the illegal market.
What actually needs to be addressed head-on is the fact that the policymakers and all those involved with this issue are treating vaping so vaguely that it misleads everyone. With the current statistics from the FDA and CDC, it is clear that cannabis vaping, and more specifically illegal purchases that have been bought from the streets, are the major or sole cause of the pandemonium.
Vaping tobacco has always been safe regardless of the major efforts made by similar politicians to ban it, most recently Michigan. Why fix it when it’s not broken?
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