The end of the summer has been wrought with worried conversations in the health community about a mysterious illness that affects the lungs as the result of vaping. As of Sept. 6, 2019, the illness has been responsible for claiming the lives of three people in the United States.
There are hundreds of cases being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration that have been linked to the strange pulmonary disease. At least 25 states have reported a combined total of 215 cases under investigation.
For a couple weeks no one has been able to trace the illness to one particular brand of juice or vaping device. However, a new culprit may be to blame; vitamin E.
Over three dozen of the reported cases have stemmed from New York state. Health officials have found high levels of vitamin E in cannabis vaping cartridges that were used by those who have suffered from the mystery lung damage.
Vitamin E has not been approved as an additive in vaping products for New York’s medical marijuana plan. These cartridges are more than likely coming from the “black market” and not in authorized medical marijuana dispensaries.
A statement from the New York State Department of Health said, “At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing.”
State health commissioner Howard Zucker said vitamin E as a dietary supplement or cream is usually safe. However, used as an aerosol it may be dangerous. Zucker has found vitamin E in 13 of the analyzed patient cartridges.
When inhaled “deep in the lung, [it] can cause problems,” he said. It’s been traced to up to 50 percent of the liquid in the vaping cartridge. But so far, it’s only been found in cartridges that contain THC.
The FDA isn’t too sure vitamin E is the only substance to blame, but it’s a start. Senior advisor, Michael Felberbaum, said in an emailed statement to NPR that, “More information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses.”
“The FDA is analyzing samples submitted by the states for the presence of a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids along with cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons and toxins,” he said.
Zucker encourages the public to stay vigilant about the products they are purchasing and to contact a health care provider if any unusual symptoms develop. Furthermore, unregulated products or those offered for purchase off the street should be avoided at all costs.
Some of the side effects of vaping illness may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
“In general, vaping of unknown substances is dangerous, and we continue to explore all options to combat this public health issue,” Zucker said.
Vape and e-Cigarette Lawsuits
Our law firm is representing those who have been harmed by vaping devices. Not only have illnesses from vaping become a public health issue, but explosions from the devices have claimed lives as well. Vape explosions have been responsible for property damage, injury, and death.
Furthermore, vaping has become a national concern for parents as it has increased in popularity with teenagers and underage children. A study released last year indicated children as young as 8th grade have been experimenting with e-Cigarettes.
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If you have suffered property damage, injury, seizures, or suffered lung illness from e-cigarettes or vape devices, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker. We are currently accepting new vaping lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
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