OH health officials confirm three cases of pulmonary illness linked to vaping

Henrietta Brewer
September 6, 2019

Wisconsin officials say most of the cases in this state arose from vaping THC products, such as waxes or oil concentrates, and not from store-bought e-juice regularly used in vapes.

'This was the only thing that seemed to show up in 10 of the 18 cannabis products, ' the official told the Post.

Vitamin E is usually safe as a dietary supplement or cream, but vaping it could be harmful, according to state health Commissioner Howard Zucker.

Those affected had symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue as well as some cases of vomiting and diarrhoea.

E-cigarettes, which have been available in the USA since about 2007 and have grown into a more than $6 billion-a-year industry, are battery-powered devices that typically heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable aerosol.

It comes after the State of IL launched an investigation last week into the death of an individual who had used an e-cigarette product and was later hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness.

They also acknowledged preliminary findings released Thursday by NY officials that vitamin E acetate could be responsible for the illnesses there - particularly among people who vaped cannabis products and fell ill there.

The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the US Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the country.

When talking about vaping in the warning, Health Canada refers to nicotine and cannabis vaping that uses an electronic product.

Oregon Health & Sciences University toxicologist Robert Hendrickson said that oil droplets can cause precisely the kind of reaction seen in the cases being investigated. Though no specific product has yet been identified, many patients reportedly using products that contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Conley said the fact that the OR patient had vaped a product containing THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high, was a critical distinction.

The first death vaping death was reported in IL in August.

An FDA spokesman said the agency is "looking into potential leads regarding any particular constituent or compound that may be at issue". The inflammation can cause liquid to accumulate in the lungs, making it hard for someone to breathe, she said.

Vitamin E is not an approved additive for vape products approved by New York's medical marijuana program, and Zucker says the cartridges they tested appear to be "black-market" products purchased off the street - not in medical dispensaries.

Concerns continue to grow surrounding the ongoing reports of hospitalizations relating to e-cigarette use.

"Our investigation has not yielded exactly what it is in this product", she said in a phone interview.

Other reports by iNewsToday