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CDC identifies Vitamin E Acetate as a ‘strong culprit’ in vaping related illnesses and deaths

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This Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 photo shows a vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y. On Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said fluid extracted from 29 lung injury patients who vaped contained the chemical compound in all of them. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

(ABC NEWS) — Officials have identified Vitamin E Acetate as a “strong culprit” in the vaping-related lung injuries that left thousands sick and 39 people dead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The agency collected lung fluid samples of patients with EVALI, short for “E-cigarettes or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury,” as part of its ongoing investigation. Vitamin E Acetate was found in all of the 29 samples collected. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was found in the majority of samples and nicotine was found in about half of samples.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, described the Vitamin E Acetate link as a “breakthrough” in the investigation, but cautioned that the news does not mean the investigation is over.

“These findings do not rule out other possible compounds that may be causing lung injuries but help us better understand potential ingredients that may contribute to the cause of EVALI,” Schuchat said during the Friday news briefing.

There have been 2,051 lung illnesses and 39 deaths linked to vaping, according to the CDC’s latest numbers.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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