On November 8, 2019, the CDC published published findings of a potential link between Vitamin E Acetate and vaping deaths. The CDC states that laboratory testing of lung fluid samples from 29 patients found Vitamin E Acetate in all of the samples. Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in the production of vaping products. This is the first time the CDC was able to link a specific chemical to lung injuries.
The CDC previously had targeted vaping products containing THC as the potential culprit. The CDC recommends at this time that people still not use vaping products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers.
Officials tested the samples for a variety of substances, including mineral oils, plant oils, diluent terpenes, cannabinoids, and nicotine, as well as a common component of lung secretions. Vitamin E acetate was the only substance tested for that showed up in all 29 samples. THC was found in 23 of 28 samples tested, and nicotine was found in 16 of 26 samples. But results for the other substances were all below the level of detection.
The CDC has not confirmed that Vitamin E Acetate is the definite cause of lung injuries. It still says more than one compound could be the cause of the illnesses. Several different substances and product sources are still under investigation.
As of November 5, the CDC had confirmed 2, 051 cases of vaping-related lung disease. There have been 39 fatalities.