A vitamin E acetate sample. On Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said fluid extracted from 29 lung injury patients who vaped contained the chemical compound in all of them. 

Washington is banning vape products containing the oily substance vitamin E acetate that federal health officials have said is a likely culprit in at least some of vaping-related lung illness cases.

The change comes about a week after federal health officials said that 29 out of 29 tests on people with the illness revealed that they had the substance in their lungs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at the time that this was the strongest evidence to date about the source of the epidemic, though the agency is still investigating what other chemicals might be causing people to fall ill.

Vitamin E acetate can be used to dilute cannabis vape products because it doesn’t make the oil look diluted. It’s dangerous because it needs to be heated to such a high temperature that it can cool down into droplets once it gets into the lungs but before it enters the blood stream.

Washington imposed a 120-day ban on nicotine and cannabis flavored vape products in October. A judge in Washington on Nov. 8 denied a request from the Vapor Technology Association that the ban be put on hold, according to the Spokesman-Review. Oregon has also been trying to institute a ban on flavored vape products, but with less success. While a ban went into effect Oct. 15, it has since been put on hold by Oregon’s Court of Appeals. For the time being, retailers and online stores can sell vape products can keep flavored vape products.

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