FEB 12, 2023 6:34 AM PST

Report Offers Vaping Recommendations to Reduce Potential EVALI Cases

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

As more teens and young adults report regular vaping, health professionals and parents are becoming increasingly concerned about EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury). EVALI has been primarily linked to the inclusion of vitamin E acetate (VEA) in e-liquids used in unregulated cannabis vape cartridges. 

As vaping becomes more popular, people are calling for more effective interventions. In a federally funded 2019 Monitoring the Future survey, roughly 22 percent of college students vaped nicotine in the past month, whereas just over 10% of this population reported vaping in a 2017 survey. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, college students who vaped marijuana in the past 30 days rose from 5 percent in 2017 to 14 percent in 2019. The American Thoracic Society brought together public health experts to discuss the investigation findings and current EVALI research in order to draft recommendations to help prevent future epidemics. The report was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.


Before the identification and removal of VEA from e-cigarette products, the 2019 EVALI epidemic caused 2,807 hospitalizations and 68 deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected e-cigarette samples to determine the irritants. Most of the e-cigarettes contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and vitamin E acetate, leading the CDC to associate vitamin E acetate with EVALI. VEA was not found in all the vaping products linked to EVALI cases, so the researchers recommend further research to determine whether other components also may have led to the lung condition.

EVALI is characterized by symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and occasionally coughing up blood. Some EVALI patients report gastrointestinal symptoms, weight loss, fever, and fatigue.

The workshop panel issued EVALI prevention recommendations to prevent future pandemics. The panel also recommended additional research to assess the role played by various compounds in vaping products. They called for testing of e-liquid formulations to assess toxicity (based on dose and delivery through inhalation). The goal would be to classify ingredients in order to create safety standards. 

Sources: Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Eureka News Alert


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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