Recent tragedies of multiple deaths from lung failure relating to inhalation of nicotine products, some flavored, some not, some mainstream products, some illicit, have introduced an enormous and threatening uncertainty into the safety of every nicotine or marijuana product on the market.

Vitamin E acetate suspect

Definitive details are unclear, but there is suspicion that Vitamin E acetate, an oil that can be used to dissolve and dilute nicotine or cannabis oils, is at least one of the responsible agents that produces lung inflammation, some apparently non-reversible, that can produce death.

While the majority of serious cases so far are in persons inhaling vaporized nicotine, a subset have been cannabis users inhaling vaporized oils containing marijuana products (THC and CBD).

While very few of our Orchard Health Care members are cigarette smokers, there are some, and there are a moderate number of users of medical or social marijuana.

The takeaway: Don’t use vaping products

I would recommend for now that no one use any vaping product until the safety of this delivery mechanism is proven (the risk may be much larger than just added Vitamin E acetate).

For smoking cessation, there are many nicotine delivery products including patches, lozenges and gum. For marijuana, there are orally absorbed oils that are almost as quick acting as inhalants. Even traditional smoking of “weed” is apparently safe of this deadly contaminant.

 

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