For immediate release: November 18, 2019 (19-133)
Contacts: Kristen Maki, Washington State Department of Health 360-545-2944Español
Kelie Kahler, Washington State Board of Health 360-236-4102
Washington state bans vapor products containing vitamin E acetate
OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Board of Health expanded its emergency rule on vapor products to include a new section banning the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate. The Department of Health recommended the update based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings connecting vitamin E acetate and vaping associated lung injury.
“We are deeply concerned by a new study finding vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in patients’ lungs,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “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. Furthermore, we are very aware there may be more than one cause for these lung injuries associated with vaping.”
Vitamin E acetate is sometimes used as an additive in vapor products, often as a thickening agent. No one compound or ingredient has been found in all cases of vaping associated lung injury, and there may be more than one cause of the outbreak.
“Today’s action by the Board of Health to remove vitamin E acetate from the vapor product market in Washington is based on the most current information from the national investigation into severe lung injury associated with vapor products,” said Keith Grellner, chair of the State Board of Health. “The Board knows this investigation is ongoing; as such, we will be monitoring the investigation daily and will be prepared to take further action as we learn more.”
The new section of the emergency rule will take effect as soon as it is filed with the code reviser’s office and will remain in effect for 120 days. The rest of the rule will still expire on February 7, 2020. The board and department will work closely with the Liquor and Cannabis Board on plans for implementation and enforcement of the rule.
The department will continue working with CDC and local health officials to investigate Washington cases of vaping associated lung injury.
The healthiest option is to not smoke or vape. Resources are available at www.doh.wa.gov/quit for tobacco and nicotine, and at www.warecoveryhelpline.org for marijuana.
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