The current ‘health crisis’ revolving around vaping in the US can be quite confusing, but allow us here at MIST to explain exactly what is happening and why you shouldn’t panic or discard your vaping gear.
Firstly, the recent deaths reported in America are NOT related to the use of UK regulated electronic cigarettes or e-liquid. All currently available evidence points towards the illicit purchase and use of unregulated THC vape cartridges, several of which appear to have been mixed or cut with vitamin E acetate, a substance which has not yet been through an industry trial to analyse the effects of vaping it.
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
The American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement while they continue to investigate these incidents which confirms that the majority of e-liquids they are testing contain unregulated chemical additives. The FDA went as far as to say:
Many of the samples tested by states or by the FDA as part of this ongoing investigation have been identified as vaping products containing THC, and further, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of vitamin E acetate
The American Centres for Disease Control (CDC) are currently conducting a thorough study across several states to try and determine the cause for these recent incidents, and their findings do not indicate that vaping in general poses a considerable risk to people who continue to purchase their e-liquid through established retailers. The CDC has cautioned that vapers refrain from their devices while the investigation is ongoing, however it can be reasonably assumed that this is simply a federal agency taking the most responsible stance available.
The CDCs current findings indicate that a particular chemical seems to be the root of this recent outbreak, stating:
All patients have a reported history of e-cigarette product use, and no consistent evidence of an infectious cause has been discovered. Therefore, the suspected cause is a chemical exposure. […] Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.
Research into what exactly is causing these reactions could be hindered by the potentially illicit nature of these unregulated THC products; users admitting to self-administering an illegal controlled substance in the US (THC) can lead to the denial of health insurance coverage, as Professor Riccardo Polosa highlighted in his recent interview with E-Cigarette Direct.
ADVICE FROM THE UK
The UK is not experiencing the same wave of vape-related health problems, despite there being over 3.6 million vapers in the UK and the opinions of leading bodies on vaping such as Public Health England’s remains unchanged:
Our advice on e-cigarettes remains unchanged – vaping isn’t completely risk free but is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping – Public Health England
The difference between the UK and US vape industries is regulation; the UK has very strict guidelines regarding where and how e-cigarettes can be sold:
All UK e-cigarette products are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the MHRA. It’s important to use UK-regulated e-liquids and never risk vaping home-made or illicit e-liquids or adding substances, any of which could be harmful. – Public Health England
MIST abides by all MHRA protocol by providing toxicological data safety sheets and emissions tests for each e-liquid (and subsequent nicotine containing variants). This means that if any e-liquid products on the market are causing illness they are identified and removed from circulation. The UK also impose strict limits on the maximum nicotine content of a given e-liquid (20mg in the UK).
We stand behind the current UK health organisations that have not changed their stance on e-cigarettes, continuing to highlight their effectiveness in managing nicotine cravings safely. If anything these recent events have highlighted the need for greater federal oversight of the American vaping industry and a need to address marketing strategies.
Here at MIST we strongly advise that you always purchase your e-liquid from a reliable retailer, though it must be stated that with the regulations we have in place here it is highly unlikely these health problems will reach our shores, providing you continue to purchase legitimate e-liquid. We can confirm that no products within our range of e-liquids contain Vitamin E acetate.