The New York Health Department said that they found high levels of vitamin E acetate in cannabis vape products. These products were used by people who subsequently fell ill and suffered severe lung disease.
The health department’s announcement came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration said that they are investigating multiple cases of vaping-related illnesses across various states.
In recent months, vaping companies have been under fire, both at state and federal levels, as concern regarding potential health issues mount and as vaping gains increasing popularity among teenagers.
New York has 34 of such cases, and in all of these, the use of various vape products was involved before falling ill.
The department tested all of the cannabis-containing vape products used in these cases, and it found that nearly all of them have “very high” vitamin E acetate levels.
Vitamin E acetate has not been approved as an additive for the vape products that have been granted license under the state’s medical marijuana program. The vitamin E acetate was not found in any of the nicotine-based products that were tested.
While the department explained that vitamin E acetate does not cause harm when applied to the skin or ingested as a vitamin supplement, it is looking into the health effects of the additive when inhaled.
In a press release, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker noted that the cases of pulmonary illnesses that are associated with vaping continue to rise across New York State and in the entire United States. The department, he said, is urging the public to be vigilant when it comes to vaping products they are using and to contact their health care provider immediately if they develop any symptoms that are unusual.
According to Dr. Zucker, vaping of unknown substances is generally dangerous and they continue to explore all available options to fight this public health issue.
Last month, the Health Department issued an advisory for health care professionals to alert people about the symptoms they need to look out for in vaping-related illnesses. These symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, coughing, and weight loss.