Washington state bans vapor products containing vitamin E acetate

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Lung injury
Photo courtesy CDC
Since April 2019, there have been 15 cases of vaping associated lung injury reported in Washington. 67 percent of the patients are male.

In September, Gov. Inslee issued an Executive Order to ban the sale of flavored vapor products, including flavored THC vapor products, require non-marijuana vapor product retailers to display a sign warning of the risk of lung disease associated with the use of vapor products, and require reporting of cases of lung injury associated with the use of vapor products from health care providers and health care facilities.

On Monday, The Washington State Board of Health expanded this emergency rule on vapor products to include a new section banning the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate. The Department of Health recommended the update based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings connecting vitamin E acetate and vaping associated lung injury.

“We are deeply concerned by a new study finding vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in patients’ lungs,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. 
“While we still need more research to identify a definitive cause, the evidence we have linking vitamin E acetate to the outbreak demands immediate action to protect the public’s health. Furthermore, we are very aware there may be more than one cause for these lung injuries associated with vaping.”

Vitamin E acetate is sometimes used as an additive in vapor products, often as a thickening agent. No one compound or ingredient has been found in all cases of vaping associated lung injury, and there may be more than one cause of the outbreak.

“Today’s action by the Board of Health to remove vitamin E acetate from the vapor product market in Washington is based on the most current information from the national investigation into severe lung injury associated with vapor products,” said Keith Grellner, chair of the State Board of Health. 
“The Board knows this investigation is ongoing; as such, we will be monitoring the investigation daily and will be prepared to take further action as we learn more.”

The department will continue working with CDC and local health officials to investigate Washington cases of vaping associated lung injury.

The healthiest option is to not smoke or vape. Resources are available here for tobacco and nicotine, and here for marijuana.



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