Mystery Vaping Illness Update
12 Sep

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 popularist angle as seen in his kneejerk 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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