UPDATE: CDC Finds Link Between Vitamin E Acetate and Vaping Illnesses
Recent laboratory testing of fluid samples collected from the lungs of 29 patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), submitted to CDC from 10 states, found vitamin E acetate in all of the BAL fluid samples.
Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. This is the first time that the CDC has detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries.
Health care providers should encourage patients NOT to use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers.
Based on the most current data, CDC’s updated interim guidance provides a framework for health care providers in their initial assessment, evaluation, management, and follow-up of persons with EVALI. Rapid recognition by health care providers of patients with EVALI and an increased understanding of treatment considerations could reduce morbidity and mortality associated with this injury.
As of November 5, 2019, 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory have reported 2,051 cases of lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, products. 39 deaths have been reported from 24 states.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has reported that 2 Kansans have died from vaping related illnesses since September 10, 2019. Kansas currently has 18 probable/confirmed vaping related cases, including the 2 deaths.
Of the Kansas cases, 74% are male and the collective ages range from 15-67 years old. 16 of the 18 were hospitalized. Regarding the types of vaping products used, there was a combination or those reporting using only nicotine, only THC, only CBD, and a combination of THC and nicotine.
As this investigation continues, Kansas dentists should report possible cases of EVALI to KDHE for further investigation. If EVALI is suspected, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources of products, duration and frequency of use, and the devices used and how they are used should be obtained.
For assistance with managing patients suspected of illness related to recreational, illicit, or other drugs, call your local poison control center at: