In our post a few days ago, we looked at the possible causes of the mystery illness affecting a small group of younger vapers in the US. At that time, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone to stop using e-cigarettes, which we felt was extreme as all the evidence pointed to illicit or unregulated e-liquids containing undesirable ingredients. Well, the FDA has now released a statement, for the most part, confirming that fact.
The FDA announcement entitled, “Vaping Illnesses: Consumers Can Help Protect Themselves by Avoiding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing Vaping Products”, states:
“…many of the samples tested by the states or by the FDA as part of this ongoing investigation have been identified as vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant) and further, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate.”
Vitamin E acetate is used in topical consumer products and dietary supplements and is not safe for inhalation. It is a banned substance in e-liquids under the EU Tobacco Products Directive , as is THC for that matter.
The FDA and the CDC are still investigating the matter but now they are no longer recommending everybody stop using e-cigarettes, they now say:
“…we encourage consumers to help protect themselves and avoid buying vaping products of any kind on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores.”
We sympathise with those affected by this incident but again reiterate that whenever you purchase a consumable, ensure it is from a reputable manufacturer and, for e-liquids, that they are TPD-compliant. It’s also worth noting that anything can be abused, even prescription medication, but we don’t rush to ban it because of a few cases of misuse.
Hopefully, this affair will not stop people from using vaping to quit smoking. Public Health England (PHE) has not changed its message that vaping carries a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders.
As always, Donald Trump goes for the populist angle as seen in his knee-jerk reaction to ban all flavoured e-liquids containing nicotine in the US, at least until they can obtain FDA approval and show that they represent a benefit to the nation’s public health.
Regulation to ensure quality is always good but demonising vaping in the meantime is counterproductive.
Remember that over the past 7 days, around 1,500 people have died in the UK alone from smoking-related diseases. So we hope smokers continue to make the switch to vaping to reduce their risk and help them quit nicotine completely – everyone should just ensure to always purchase TPD-approved e-liquids.
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