Last week, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) announced what the agency considers to be an important breakthrough in their investigation on vaping illnesses. While the CDC has not ruled out other possible factors, the investigation has revealed a correlation between those suffering from symptoms and Vitamin E acetate. The CDC considers the compound to be a “potential toxin of concern”. Of the 29 lung tissue samples tested, all had detectable levels of Vitamin E acetate. Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) or its metabolites were found in 82% of the samples and 16 of 26 patient sample contained Nicotine metabolites.
These results are consistent with a findings by New York health officials in September and make sense since Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in THC and other vaping products. While there may be multiple causes for this outbreak of illnesses the CDC finds the correlations found to Vitamin E acetate and vaping related illnesses in 10 states to be “noteworthy”. Pending the completion of the investigation, the CDC has recommended people refrain from the use of ALL vaping products with THC, no matter where they are sourced.
Simultaneously, the Trump administration has indicated forthcoming changes to laws and regulations surrounding vaping and will deliver final decisions next week. The President has indicated the possibility of raising the legal age of use for vaping devices to 21.
As a result of this guidance and dire warning from the CDC more states and localities may implement stricter restrictions on vaping devices and substances.