OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state has banned the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate.
The Seattle Times reports that the state Board of Health’s ban, which takes effect Wednesday, comes following findings released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linking the compound to the outbreak of lung injuries that has sickened more than 2,000 people nationwide. More than 40 people have died.
“We are deeply concerned by the new study finding vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in patients’ lungs,” stated Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “While we still need more research to identify a definitive cause, the evidence we have liking vitamin E acetate to the outbreak demands immediate action to protect the public’s health. Furthermore, we are very aware there may be more than one cause for these lung injuries associated with vaping.”
There have been 15 confirmed cases since April in Washington state. Last month, state health officials adopted an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vapor products. The rule was extended Monday to include the ban of products containing vitamin E acetate.
State officials say that no processors have reported using vitamin E acetate in their products.
Vitamin E acetate is sometimes used as an additive in vapor products, often as a thickening agent.