Reported Serious Lung Disease & Deaths in the United States have No Direct Link to Vaping.
Thursday 12th September 2019.
It seems the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has been reluctant to attribute blame to the more likely cause of the reported lung disease and deaths, whether that's to do with the current US Governments continued unfounded war flavoured eliquids, I cannot say. Sadly the US Surgeon General and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) had also jumped on the band wagon, perhaps attributing (unfounded) legitimacy to the hysteria in the media over the last week or so. As a lot of us already suspected, reporting these deaths as 'linked to Vaping' is about as accurate as reporting drug overdoses as 'syringe related'.
As I reported a few days ago, the research now confirms the reported cases are linked to vaping THC oil containing a Vitamin E derivative, Vitamin E Acetate. It's found naturally foods like almonds and olive oil and is a collective term for a group of fat soluble compounds with specific antioxidant properties. Importantly contact with the skin or ingestion is not known to cause an health problems but inhalation could be the cause of the symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain) reported by many of the patients.
The FDA have been slow to divulge their findings but have thankfully made a small step forward by conceding normal Eliquids are highly unlikely to be the cause of the recent deaths by releasing the statement “Consumers can help protect themselves by avoiding tetrahydrocannabinol-containing vaping products”. Along with “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 a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements, but data are limited about its effects after inhalation.” and importantly their statement continues “At least one of the associated deaths that has been publicly disclosed Disclaimer appears to have been related to illicit THC vaping products. In many cases of illness reported by the states, patients have acknowledged recent use of THC-containing vaping products while speaking to healthcare personnel, or in follow-up interviews by health department staff.”
Keeping in mind that Vaping has been around for well over a decade and that there are millions of Vapers around the globe; there have been no other reports of repository problems (or any other health issues) as a result of Vaping, anywhere at any time. The fact that it's becoming clear that THC oils containing Vitamin E Acetate are the cause is presumably why all of the now reported cases have all appeared in a small cluster of states and all within a few weeks. It has also transpired some of the patients admitted to hospital by their parents were understandably reluctant to tell the truth about their use of THC Oil, likely why the 'link to vaping' stories started.
Health Organisations, Health Authorities and Governments have a responsibility to report the truth in these matters as soon as they have the scientific evidence to support their findings, it's public safety we're talking about here. Whilst it's positive findings based on actual scientific evidence are now filtering through, it's disgusting how long its taken. I know it's nothing new but it's infuriating how the media show such disregard for the health of the general public, once again putting out headlines with no substance. By actively proportioning the cause of these serious health issues and deaths at Vaping, they're misdirecting the public's attention which in turn meant we didn't know what we should actually be avoiding.
It's not likely this will be the last smear story we'll see in the media, so what's important to take away from the illnesses and tragic deaths in the United States is:1. These cases are not related to Vaping products that have been on the market for years, products used by the average Vaper and are not related to long term ecigarette use.
2. There have been no reports of any respiratory problems or any other health issues directly linked to Vaping, anywhere in the world at any point in time.
3. The United Kingdom is leading the way in evidence based reports and continue to monitor the long term affects of Vaping. Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians still stand by the 2 independent reports conducted by unbiased scientific bodies that find Vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking. 4. The products that are believed to be responsible for the lung disease and deaths are new or new formulations and haven't been available before.
5. If you are in a country where cannabis is legal and THC Vape Oils are available, do not by them from a dealer. Make sure you by them from a regulated supplier and even then, ensure you know exactly what is in them. Do not use products that contain Vitamin E derivatives.
6. It's not prudent to take any tabloid story at face value, do a little research to make sure you have the full story and know the actual science (or lack of) behind it.
7. It's worth noting that US politics and laws are entirely different to the UK's. It's not uncommon to find politicians that are financially backed by party's linked to Tobacco or Pharmaceutical companies. It's also very normal to find Universities and other Scientific organisations producing some of the reports that the media scare stories about vaping are based on, are funded by grants linked to or provided by Tobacco or Pharmaceutical companies.
© 2019 JJ Allen.