Nearly half of the THC-containing vaping samples analyzed in the federal investigation of lung illnesses contain vitamin E acetate, a dangerous diluting agent, government officials said Friday.

Vitamin E acetate is used by some in the cannabis industry to cheaply thin the THC oil used to ingest the drug through vaping devices. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for most of the psychological effects of marijuana.

Colorado, which was the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use only, recently banned vitamin E acetate.  

Despite the widespread public alarm over vaping, there is little evidence of a slowing of the lung illnesses, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are also reports of people being readmitted from five to 55 days after hospitalization for lung injury, but it's unclear whether it was due to a resumption of vaping or other causes. 

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