Amid Vape Pen Lung Disease Deaths: What Exactly Is Vitamin E Oil?

An unprecedented outbreak of vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI) has sickened up to 450 people and killed as many as six in 33 states.

A current suspect in the outbreak is vitamin E acetate, sometimes used as a vape cartridge additive. It’s a popular new diluent thickener found mostly in illicit market THC vape carts. What is vitamin E oil and what makes it dangerous? We explore below.

Vitamin E Oil Has Natural or Synthetic Sources

Vitamin E is the common name for several similar types of oils called tocopherols. They’re commonly found in corn and other vegetable oil or made synthetically from petroleum. We often eat it as a dietary supplement, and manufacturers put it in food and cosmetics.

From plant sources of tocopherols, chemists extract vegetable oil, then separate the tocopherols from the rest of the vegetable oil using fractionation. It’s like distilling.

It’s also possible for chemists to create

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