There's been a breakthrough in the cases of illnesses related to vaping and U.S. officials think they've pinpointed the culprit. The cause of vaping illness could be vitamin E acetate according to a U.S. health protection agency. Now Health Canada is keeping an eye on the situation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had a breakthrough about what has been causing vaping illness. Officials claim that vitamin E acetate could be to blame for the illnesses and deaths that sometimes follow.
Health Canada is taking note of these developments.
"Health Canada will continue to monitor all available data sources and surveillance systems and will take additional action, if warranted and as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians," said Eric Morrissette, Health Canada spokesperson, in a statement to The Canadian Press.
The substance was found in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 people with the illness from across the U.S.
THC was detected in 23 out of 28 patients and nicotine was detected in 16 out of 26 patients that were tested.
Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters during a press conference on November 8 that linking vitamin E acetate to vaping illness is a breakthrough in their investigation.
Vitamin E acetate is an additive sometimes used in cannabis vaping products and other vaping products as well.
However, Vitamin E acetate is not allowed in cannabis vaping products in Canada, according to Morrissette.
Though it is unclear if it's in other vaping products allowed in Canada.
Just because vitamin E acetate isn't in cannabis vaping products here, that doesn't mean Health Canada isn't keeping up with all the developments.
Morrissette said that Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are "actively monitoring the vaping illness situation."
So Health Canada will be in close contact with the CDC, the agency that made this breakthrough, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In September 2019, Health Canada released an advisory warning Canadians about the potential danger of vaping. The warning came after two deaths and more than 200 possible cases of vaping illness were reported by U.S. government agencies at the end of August.
Now those numbers are even higher.
As of November 5, there were over 2000 reported cases of illnesses related to vaping in the U.S.
According to The Canadian Press, there have been seven confirmed or probable cases of vaping illness in Canada, including three probable ones in B.C. and two confirmed ones in Quebec.
Even though a possible reason has been found as to what is causing these illnesses, the CDC will continue to test other chemicals.
"This does not rule out other possible ingredients," said Schuchat. "There may be more than one cause."
Health Canada continues to warn people about the possible dangers of vaping and asks Canadians to seek medical attention if they're concerned about their health because of vaping.