The additive that has been found as the source of THC vaping-related lung injuries and death would be formally banned in Michigan under legislation passed in the Michigan House this week. House lawmakers on Thursday approved a package of bills aimed at prohibiting the sale of tobacco and marijuana vaping products containing vitamin E acetate or other additives not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Centers for Disease Control has “strongly linked” THC products containing vitamin E acetate to 68 deaths — including three in Michigan — and more than 2,800 hospitalizations nationwide from a disease the CDC has called e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI), even though e-cigarettes had nothing to do with the diseases causes.
A processor or provisioning center found in violation of the ban would face a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, according to M Live.
House Bills 4249 and 4250 passed the chamber with wide bipartisan support. The package now heads to the Senate for further review. The legislation is similar to bills introduced last session that also passed the House, but were never taken up for a vote in the Senate.
During a March 16 Regulatory Reform Committee hearing, one lawmaker said the harmful effects of vitamin E acetate were discovered in 2019 amid an “emergency when young people were dying after vaping.”
“This chemical is actually inserted in the vaping process and the manufacturing process, and there it was discovered that it was extremely dangerous to be inhaled,” they said at the time
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency in November 2019 created testing requirements banning the presence of vitamin E acetate in all marijuana vaping products and halted marijuana vaping sales until they could be tested for the presence of vitamin E acetate. In December 2019, the state recalled thousands of marijuana vaping products that tested positive for the additive.
Vitamin E acetate is safely consumed in food and applied to the skin in cosmetic products. When it comes to vaping, Vitamin E acetate can be used as a filler added to THC vaping cartridges – it’s a cheaper substance that dilutes potency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed to vitamin E acetate as a factor in many of the vaping-related deaths around the country, noting it “may interfere with normal lung functioning” when inhaled through a vaping product.