Using vape products seems like a helpful alternative to many who have trouble giving up tobacco, which has been clearly linked to several health issues, especially cancer. But now, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning that vaping may not be as safe as many people previously thought.
According to the CDC, over 380 cases of lung illnesses have occurred as a result of e-cigarettes, which included six fatalities. Dr. Paul Bonucci, medical director of the emergency department at Illinois Valley Community Hospital, urges everyone to “pay attention to that.”
Unfortunately, no long-term studies have been performed on the safety of e-cigarette products.
So what seems to be the problem with vaping?
There hasn’t been a single device or product linked to all of the illnesses, but many of the patients reported having used THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high.
This actually points to one of the major issues with vaping in the U.S. Accoring to Jazsmine Farley of Boss Vapes, many consumers are purchasing empty cartridges and filling them with their own homemade products. These products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It’s possible, then, that the offending chemicals are actually not even sold in the legal market.
What kind of illnesses are people reporting?
Those who have become ill after vaping have seen significant lung damage, as the chemicals have been destroying the lung’s linings. Because we rely upon the lungs to take in oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide, the cases reported have been very serious.
Although the dangers involved in “vaping” are very nuanced, the CDC is currently recommending that no one use any e-cigarette products.
It seems that the offending chemical is a THC oil that could be purchased on the black market. When it isn’t regulated by the FDA, the oil can include vitamin E acetate, which many health officials are reporting to be the cause of the lung damage. Still, some patients have reported using e-cigarettes with only nicotine products, meaning it’s best to be safe until officials have completed their investigations.
Will this warning stop people from vaping?
According to many vape shops, people are still purchasing and using vape products. Although the warnings and reports of illnesses has been taken seriously by shop owners, many feel that they still aren’t putting consumers in danger.
What’s more, people rely on vaping in order not to fall back on using tobacco products, which are severely addictive and can also have detrimental consequences. Smoking kills nearly 480,000 each year, so for many, that seems a much bigger risk than the small number of vaping-related illnesses so far. The most important thing is that people are made aware of the potential dangers, and if they are going to vape, at least purchase products that are regulated by the FDA.