KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Vitamin E acetate, an additive sometimes used in THC-containing e-liquids of vaping products, may be to blame for a national outbreak of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes, US health officials announced.
“These new findings are significant,” Dr Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, according to CNN.
“We have a strong culprit.”
Dr Schuchat added that more tests are necessary to confirm the findings.
“This does not rule out other possible ingredients,” Schuchat said.
“There may be more than one cause.”
The CDC said its tests found vitamin E acetate in samples taken from 29 patients who were sick with vaping-related illness in 10 states.
THC were found in 23 of 28 patients, whereas nicotine metabolites were detected in 16 of 26 patient specimens.
“The CDC’s reporting supports what New York State’s Wadsworth Center Lab has found in vape products tested since early September and reinforces the importance of the role that Vitamin E acetate may play in the current outbreak of vaping related illnesses,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated.
“While no definitive cause has been found, as I’ve said from the very beginning: if you don’t know what you are smoking, don’t smoke it.”
Separately, US President Donald Trump announced that the age to purchase vaping products in the United States could be increased to 21.
“We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so, so we’ll be coming out with something next week very important on vaping,” Trump said, according to CNN.
The current legal age to buy e-cigarettes in the United States is 18, but the government has been putting efforts to increase the age at which it’s legal to purchase tobacco products.
Several cities and states, including California, Oregon, Virginia, Massachusetts and others, limit sales of tobacco products to people age 21 and older.