Severe lung injury linked to additive in e-cigarettes, vaping products

The patients experienced symptoms that were similar to COVID-19.
Author:
Publish date:

An outbreak of severe lung injuries linked to THC-containing e-cigarette and vaping products in Minnesota is now believed to have been caused by a vitamin E acetate, which is sometimes used as an additive in the products. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Friday that the additive was found in 12 lung-injury cases in Minnesota since June, with all of the patients – ages 14 to 46 – being hospitalized. The average age of the patients was just over 18, and five of the patients required treatment in intensive care. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vitamin E acetate is commonly found in foods, dietary supplements and skin creams, though it can be harmful when inhaled. 

Two Minnesota patients confirmed use of 11 different products, including Dank, Lion's Breath and KRT, and vitamin E acetate was found in all 11 products tested. 

The patients experienced symptoms that were difficult to diagnose due to similarities to COVID-19, including cough and shortness of breath, the MDH said. 

The severe lung injuries, clinically diagnosed as EVALI, can produce symptoms including shortness of breath, cough, fever, malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and chest pain.

“Using THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, from informal sources like friends, family, or dealers is not only illegal but also a serious health risk Minnesotans should avoid,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “It’s clear there are unscrupulous people, who, even after all we’ve learned, are willing to put potentially deadly vitamin E acetate in these products.”

The CDC notes that a decline in severe lung injuries related to THC-containing e-cigs and vaping products is likely due to an increase in public awareness about potential health dangers, manufacturers removing vitamin E acetate from some products, and law enforcement cracking down on use of illicit products. 

Aug. 21 Weather with Sven

Next Up

Kevin Fiala / Minnesota Wild

Fiala's goal gives Wild victory over first-place Golden Knights

Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves in the 2-0 victory.

Walz

Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.

Related

'Severe lung injuries' linked to vaping found in Minnesota teens

Similar reports have been received in Wisconsin as well.

vaping

More cases of vaping-linked severe lung injuries reported in Minnesota

Health officials say there have been a further 11 suspected cases.

vaping

Health department reports first vaping-injury death in MN

The person who died suffered a serious lung injury.

2 more deaths in Minnesota from lung injuries linked to vaping

There are 73 people in Minnesota suffering severe lung injury from vaping.

vaping

Death of Minnesota man in Tennessee linked to vaping THC

Minnesota has recorded three vaping-associated deaths.

vaping

Minnesota to sue e-cig maker JUUL, accusing it of 'preying' upon students

AG Keith Ellison and Gov. Tim Walz announced the lawsuit on Wednesday.

vaping

Minnesota teens are still vaping at a 'very high rate'

The majority of youth e-cig users report signs of nicotine dependence, MDH says.

Teen vaping use in Minnesota as risen 'sharply,' study finds

There's been a significant increase in 8th and 11th graders vaping.