Electronic cigarettes, the mysterious EVALI lung disease caused by vitamin E acetate

It is called Vitamin E acetate. It’s the substance that could have caused the wave of diseases related to vape that in the United States have affected 2,051 people and killing about forty. It is a thickener used mainly in products based on tetrahydrocannabinol.

It is a substance present in tetrahydrocannabinol-based products, namely THC, one of the active ingredients of cannabis. This was revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which from the analysis of pulmonary fluids from 29 patients distributed among 10 states identified the presence of the substance. Now vitamin E acetate is considered to be a substance responsible in the mysterious cases of the disease that could soon be confirmed.

Vitamin E acetate is an oily substance identifiable in many elements that we keep at home, including food, supplements, and skin creams. The substance has no repercussions when it is ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin, but some research has suggested that when it is inhaled it can interfere with the normal functioning of the lungs. Its presence within some refills for electronic cigarettes containing tetrahydrocannabinol, therefore, would have led a large number of users to inhale a substance that, according to scientists, when heated becomes a kind of fat.

Vitamin E acetate would have been added to these refills as a thickener and, moreover, it has been used in particular with THC-based products because it looks just like cannabis oil. Now it remains to be seen how this substance has caused EVALI, the term investigators are using for the mysterious cases of vaping-related diseases, an acronym for “E-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury”. The researchers are in fact still trying to understand the mechanism that led to the disease and, in some cases, to death.

Vaping disease symptoms

EVALI initially manifests itself in chest pains, wheezing, coughing, vomiting and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the fever begins to manifest itself, while respiratory problems may worsen and become critical and require assisted ventilation in the hospital. 39 people have died of this mysterious pathology associated with electronic cigarettes, many of them very young. In total, however, 2,051 people in the US fell ill. Scientists are also investigating the secondary aftermath of the disease, which could cause the outbreak of infections and other diseases.

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