CDC announces potential cause of vaping-related lung illnesses

Federal officials have identified vitamin E acetate as a possible cause of the deadly outbreak.
2:09 | 11/09/19

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Transcript for CDC announces potential cause of vaping-related lung illnesses
Now to a breakthrough in finding a possible cause of those vaping-related lung illnesses. The CDC naming a potential chemical of concern while president trump calls for raising the age limit to buy e-cigarettes. We're in Washington with more on this. Zachary, good morning. Reporter: This morning the CDC zeroed in on a toxin they're telling a potential culprit leading to the outbreak of injuries associated with vaping across the country. The first time federal officials have identified vitamin E acetate as a possible cause of the deadly outbreak that has claimed 39 lives across 24 states and the district of Columbia. It's also sickened more than 2,000 people. The possible breakthrough comes after the C found the compound in all 29 samples taken thus far from people who got sick. Vitamin E acetate is commonly found in cosmetics and food, and it's typically not harmful, but when inhaled, it can interfere with normal lung function. It's an additive to e-cigarettes, because it resembles thc oil and also a thickening ingredient. The report does not rule out the possibility other substances or flavors may be causing the lung illnesses related to vaping and comes as the white house is expected to make a major announcement on vaping next week. We have to take care of our kids most importantly. So we're going to have an age limit of 21 or so. We're talking about flavors. Reporter: The American vaping association saying in a statement, it appears that president trump may be preparing to enact smart regulations on vaping products. Raising the age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products to 21 puts the industry on a similar footing with other adult industries like alcohol and marijuana. We still don't know specifically what caused these lung injuries. The investigation has not specified what e-cigarettes vaping products or substances are linked to these cases.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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