Last month, the CDC announced a “Major Breakthrough” and reported that the outbreak of EVALI, is almost certainly not linked with vaping legal nicotine products. Testing the lung fluids from 29 of the case patients, the agency had found that all 29 contained vitamin E acetate, also known as Tocopheryl acetate.
In line with this, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last September, researchers had emphasized that while in a small percentage of the cases under investigation, the participants claimed to use only nicotine not THC, it is highly likely that for obvious reasons they may have been reluctant to admit to using illegal drugs. Subsequently, the aforementioned CDC report had confirmed just that.
“This is significant because although not all of the case patients admitted to using THC vapes, the finding of vitamin E acetate in their lungs essentially proves that they were indeed vaping THC oils,” said Siegel referring to the CDC report. “This does not mean that they were lying; they may simply not have known what was in the product they were vaping, especially since most of these products are purchased off the black market or obtained from friends or dealers.”
Vitamin E Acetate found in all confirmed EVALI cases
Meanwhile last week, the CDC released results from testing 51 probable or confirmed case patients from 16 states. Vitamin E acetate was detected in 48 (94%) of the case patients.
Most importantly, pointed out Public health expert Dr. Michael Siegel, there were valid explanations why three of the cases were not linked to THC. “The three cases in which vitamin E acetate was not detected were not confirmed cases, and each had other potential explanations for their illnesses. One had a multi-drug overdose, one had a fungal infection, and one may have had a bacterial lung infection.”
None of the healthy vapers had Vitamin E Acetate in their lung fluids
Once again, added Siegel, the most critical finding of the study was the fact that THC liquids was found in 9 out of 11 patients who denied having used it, and that every single confirmed case patient (100%) had vitamin E acetate detected in their lung fluids.
“The investigators tested lung fluids from 99 healthy people, including 18 e-cigarette users, and none had vitamin E acetate detected. In addition, they did not find vitamin E acetate in any of the nicotine-containing e-liquids tested,” concluded Siegel.