Compound found in U.S. vaping patients not allowed in Canadian cannabis products: officials

OTTAWA – Canadian health officials say a chemical compound discovered in lung fluid taken from 29 patients with a mysterious vaping related illness is not allowed in Canadian cannabis vaping products.

Still a spokesperson for Health Canada says the agency, along with the Public Health Agency of Canada, is actively monitoring the apparent U.S. breakthrough.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they have a “very strong culprit” in vitamin E acetate, which has only recently been used as a thickener in vaping fluid, particularly in black market vape cartridges.

While vitamin E is safe as a vitamin pill or to use on the skin, but inhaling oily droplets of it can be harmful because the sticky substances can stay in the lungs.

More than 2,000 Americans have gotten sick since March — many of them teens and young adults — and at least 40 people have died.

There have been seven confirmed or probable cases of severe lung illness related to vaping in Canada — two confirmed cases in Quebec, two probable cases in New Brunswick and three probable cases in B.C.

U.S. officials said Friday this is the first time they’ve found a common suspect in the damaged lungs of patients, but cautioned they cannot rule out all other toxic substances.

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