Recent data from the CDC suggests a chemical in vaping products could be the culprit behind an outbreak of illnesses. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Starting Wednesday, Washington state’s restrictions on vaping products will get even tighter, with the state Health Department banning all products that have a chemical linked to an outbreak of lung illnesses across the country.
Expert: Vape bans will escalate health crisis, not fix it
The chemical — known as vitamin E acetate — was singled out in findings from the Centers for Disease Control as the potential culprit behind over 21,000 vaping-related illnesses in the U.S., and 42 deaths.
“While we still need more research to identify a definitive cause, the evidence we have linking vitamin E acetate to the outbreak demands immediate action to protect the public’s health,” Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a written statement.
Washington state has seen 15 confirmed cases of its own since April. That had it enacting a ban on all flavored vape products in early October, in an effort to discourage a younger demographic of smokers.
“Today we are experiencing a very serious health crisis — it doesn’t have to be this way,” Gov. Jay Inslee said at the time of the initial ban on flavored products.
There’s still a good deal that remains unknown about long-term effects of vaping. That being so, the CDC discovered traces of vitamin E acetate in the lungs of 29 people from 10 separate states who had experienced some form of vaping-related illness.
A case in favor of a Washington vaping ban (for now)
Another common thread throughout this whole saga seems to be the presence of THC in products used by those who got sick from vaping. The CDC is urging people to cease the use of THC vaping products while it continues to look into the issue.
The ban on vitamin E acetate vaping products in Washington is similar to ones currently enacted in both Ohio and Colorado.