Vaping Deaths Proven As A Very American Problem

E-cigarettes and their potential health implications have taken centre stage in recent months after 33 people were confirmed to have died from vaping-related illnesses in the United States, the youngest of which was just 13.

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Several state and local governments, including Michigan and the city of San Francisco, have enacted bans on e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Meanwhile, the Centers of Disease Control says no specific substance or single type of e-cigarette device has been linked to the cases, however around 80 per cent of people have said they were using liquids which contained cannabinoid products, such as THC. The federal organisation is also investigating a substance called vitamin E acetate, which can be found in many e-liquid products in the states.

Although no singular cause has been proven, the potential US-wide ban, which has already come into action in the state of Michigan, has sparked a global conversation on whether e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.

But, should vapers be concerned about potentially suffering from health implications in the future? And can we still rely on e-cigarettes as a safe quitting aid for getting off traditional cigarettes?

Speaking to UNILAD, he explained:

In the UK and Europe we have robust regulations governing the ingredients used in vaping products and the manufacture of the devices themselves, including the obligation to conduct emissions tests and create a full toxicological dossier on all nicotine containing e-liquids.

This information must be submitted to our Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency before it can be placed on the market. This ensures that our consumers can have complete faith in the products that they are purchasing.

We have a strict list of banned ingredients which includes anything with carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic properties, formaldehyde, Diacetyl and many more.

Back in 2015, Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians conducted an in-depth study in which they decided vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking, which is known to kill thousands of people each year in the UK alone.

However, the smoking alternative has been accused of enticing young non-smokers onto the market, thanks to the wide range of sweet e-liquid flavours available.

This prompted Michigan state governor Gretchen Whitmer to pass a bill banning the sale of non-tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes, including menthol and mint products.

In a statement, she said:

For too long, companies have gotten our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends today.

Whitmer said she believes the ‘candy taste’ of e-cig flavourings like ‘Froot Loops, Fanta, and Nilla wafers’ is what is enticing teens and has led to a 20 per cent increase in teen vaping between 2017 and 2018.

On her announcement to Michigan state senators, Whitmer said:

Behind the candy taste, however, is a product that hooks kids and adults alike. E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine more than twice as quickly as tobacco cigarettes.

She added that although e-cigs were made with the intention of giving smokers a way to avoid toxins in normal cigarettes, they have instead created millions of new smokers addicted to nicotine.

Out of the 530 cases of severe pulmonary disease reported across the US, the majority have reportedly involved young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who were initially suspected to have a pneumonia-like infection.

These cases of respiratory illness have resulted in severe symptoms, including chest pain, coughing shortness of breath and vomiting. In each of the confirmed cases, patients had vaped nicotine or the marijuana constituent THC within the last 90 days.

However, Dan Marchant insists that e-cigarettes are designed purely for the use of adult smokers as a harm reduction alternative, and should never  be marketed as a ‘safe way to smoke’.

He told UNILAD:

We still have 8 million adult smokers in the UK, not a single person in the industry wants to repeat the old tobacco tactics of a bygone era by trying to attract children. That would be both morally wrong, and extremely detrimental to an industry which is doing huge amounts of good for the public health of this country.

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