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What we understand about vaping and vaping lung syndrome

Many people have read the media reports regarding the dangers of vaping in the past couple of weeks. We're here to answer a few common questions and to provide facts and links to scientific studies and news reports with regards to vaping. We have also included several videos in which doctors and researchers provide information about vaping in general.

We have compiled these references and links to information for you in hopes that you will be able to draw your own conclusions regarding this issue.

 Commonly heard statements

"People are dying from vaping"

While this is true, the term "vaping" is loosely thrown around. The definition of vaping by the Oxford Dictionary is, "the action or practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device." All recent cases of lung illnesses documented by the media have been linked to vaping contaminated black-market cannabis (THC) oil purchased from street vendors.

Source : Here

While we are not saying vaping nicotine is completely risk-free, the studies surrounding vaping are rather extensive and we are familiar with the chemical composition of what is in vapour from the use of electronic cigarettes (EC). 

A summary from the report conducted by Dr Riccardo Polosa, a world-reknown researcher and director of the Institute for Internal Medicine & Clinical Immunology at the University of Catania in Italy, found:

Source for full study and summary: Here

"We have no long term evidence that vaping is better for you than cigarettes"

There have been clinical studies conducted to explore the harm and long term risks that vaping may have on human health. Dr Polosa also conducted another 3.5 year study to measure the health outcomes of vapers who use electronic cigarettes daily. In this study, participants were tested in: 

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Body weight
  • Lung function
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Exhaled breath nitric oxide 
  • Exhaled carbon monoxide
  • High resolution computed tomography of the lungs.

The summary of the report is attached below.

Should you like to read the full report, you can find it : Here

Should you not want to read the findings of the study, we have also included an interview with Dr Riccardo Polosa below:

 

"Why is the media constantly saying vaping is bad if it is not true?"

We all know the tobacco industry is extremely lucrative and this vaping scare benefits the tobacco industry the most. Stocks in many large tobacco companies which were originally falling have seen an increase since the recent media blasts regarding vaping-related illnesses began. Philip Morris stocks climbed 2% after dipping 0.5% and British American Tobacco saw their stock prices rise 2.4%. 

Source: Here

The Australian government has also recently announced a 12.5% tax increase on tobacco products beginning in September 1st, 2020. 

Source : Here

"Avoid vaping as there have been over 200 people falling sick from vaping and 6 deaths"

The facts around smoking combustible tobacco have  also been provided by the CDC. Cigarette smoking causes 480,000 deaths per year in the United States alone with 16 million Americans living with a disease caused by smoking combustible tobacco. 

Source : Here

"Vaping is worse than smoking cigarettes"

An expert independent review published by Public Health England has studied this matter and have published their findings. Results of those findings can be found Here and Here

Summary as shown 

"Underpinning evidence for the estimate that e-cigarette use is around 95% safer than smoking: authors’ note The estimate that e-cigarette use is around 95% safer than smoking is based on the facts that:  the constituents of cigarette smoke that harm health – including carcinogens – are either absent in e-cigarette vapour or, if present, they are mostly at levels much below 5% of smoking doses (mostly below 1% and far below safety limits for occupational exposure)  the main chemicals present in e-cigarettes only have not been associated with any serious risk Our reviewi aimed to assess whether studies that have recently been widely reported as raising new alarming concerns on the risks of e-cigarettes changed the conclusions of the previous independent review (Britton and Bogdanovica, 2014) and other reassuring reviews. We concluded that these new studies do not in fact demonstrate substantial new risks and that the previous estimate by an international expert panel (Nutt et al, 2014) endorsed in an expert review (West et al, 2014) that e-cigarette use is around 95% safer than smoking, remains valid as the current best estimate based on the peer-reviewed literature. Some flavourings and constituents in e-cigarettes may pose risks over the long term. We consider the 5% residual risk to be a cautious estimate allowing for this uncertainty. Ongoing monitoring is needed to ensure that if any new risks emerge, recommendations to smokers and regulatory requirements are revised accordingly. On current evidence, there is no doubt that smokers who switch to vaping reduce the risks to their health dramatically.

Professor Ann McNeill Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, National Addiction Centre, King’s College London"

A video summary of an interview with public health official, Martin Dockrell, head of the Tobacco Control Programme in England can be viewed here:

 

We have also included videos for you to watch should you not want to read through all the links and information we have compiled for you

An interview with Dr Michael from the Boston University School of Public Health regarding the information provided by the CDC regarding vaping:

 

Why does the media constantly portray vaping in the manner that they do if all of the above facts are true?

To best answer that question, watching an interview with Dr Gopal Bhatnagar, Head of Cardiovascular Surgery at Trillium Health Center is the best answer:

 

How can I avoid vaping lung sydnrome?

Purchasing your vape devices and liquids from trusted and known vendors and avoiding black market juices can reduce the risk of developing vaping lung syndrome (VLS). Using your vape responsibly and avoiding the use of cannabis vape liquids would also help minimise your risk of getting VLS. Vitamin E acetate has been known to cause VLS, which is an ingredient that is NOT used in properly manufactured vape juices.

In an update regarding vaping lung syndrome, New York State Health Department has issued a warning, which states:

"The Department issued a health advisory in August, alerting health care providers of this emerging health threat and listing symptoms they should look for in patients. As of September 5, 2019, the Department has received 34 reports from New York State physicians of severe pulmonary illness among patients ranging from 15 to 46 years of age who were using at least one cannabis-containing vape product before they became ill. However, all patients reported recent use of various vape products.

Laboratory test results showed very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by the Wadsworth Center as part of this investigation. At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing. Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape products and was not seen in the nicotine-based products that were tested".

Source : Here

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