US health officials report third vaping death

Vitamin E may be cause of vape related illness

Vitamin E may be cause of vape related illness

IN reported Friday its first vaping-related death, adding to the two deaths already reported in IL and Oregon. The CDC said the number of reported vaping-related cases were 215 late last month.

US health officials say they've identified 450 possible similar illnesses in 33 states.

A third confirmed death was also revealed in IN, and a fourth remains under investigation as a possible case.

Health officials and doctors have been unsure of what exactly about e-cigarettes is causing "healthy, young people to become ill", but the CDC said Friday that they are beginning to see trends. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not now use tobacco products.

An article on 53 illnesses in IL and Wisconsin noted almost one-fifth of cases were people who said they vaped nicotine alone, and nothing containing marijuana oils. Many patients report using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana products, while some report using them for regular vape juices. A fourth potential death is now under investigation.

"State officials who were on an informational FDA call [said] they identified a vitamin E oil-derivative in cannabis e-liquids that had been used by people with vaping-related lung illnesses".

Over 120 samples have been analyzed, and while a few possible chemical culprits have been suggested - vitamin E acetate, present in numerous THC-containing products, was briefly highlighted - no one substance has been identified in all of them, according to Food and Drug Administration director Mitch Zeller.

The investigators in NY suggest the reason for death could be the black-market marijuana e-cigarette products containing vitamin E oil.

The Food and Drug Administration's acting administrator Ned Sharpless said his agency was aware of the reports, "but no one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested" at a nationwide level.

A preliminary report published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the first 53 cases in IL and Wisconsin has been released as well.

Typical symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

While some public health officials say buying bootleg cartridges with unregulated ingredients may be driving the problem, others are focusing on additives such as vitamin E acetate.

The Milwaukee Health Department is also urging other health officials to document THC vaping and submit their findings to the state, so an accurate number of illnesses can be recorded.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the following guidance to the public Friday. "I would vape them both everyday, all day because I really didn't know the harm in it", said Collier. The most recent death due to the illness was in Indiana.

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