Skip to main content

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

The patients experienced symptoms that were similar to COVID-19.

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

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.04.09 PM

Armed robbery suspect sought in two south metro investigations

The incidents took place at credit unions in Savage and Apple Valley.

image

Former Twin Cities plastic surgeon charged with sex crimes

Christopher Kovanda is accused of inappropriately touching woman under the guise of providing medical care.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.23.26 PM

Minnesota man accused of murder in Chicago is arrested in Alabama

A 26-year-old man from a small town on the Iowa border is accused of murdering a Greyhound bus employee.

DougKeddieShakopeeSchools

Support for Shakopee Public Schools employee diagnosed with cancer

The media specialist has been transitioned to hospice care recently.

snow

Big November snowstorms uncommon in MN, but snowfall is increasing

This week's 8.4 inches at MSP Airport was one of the biggest November storms in the Twin Cities since 1991.

MNASecondStrike

Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Erica Shameka Roberts

Police: Minnesota murder suspect arrested in Texas

Erica Roberts has been on the run since March.

JackknifedSemisI35

Jackknifed semis close I-35 northbound near Faribault

There are icy conditions across Minnesota

court room

Red Lake man gets 12 years for murder of his cousin

Charges state the man beat the victim with a metal cabinet and its drawers.

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.

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.

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 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.