Updated: Sep 21, 2019
As most have heard the anti vaping crowd have been getting very excited recently as possible evidence of vaping's perceived evil has arisen out of the tragic deaths of 6 E-cigarette users and more than 400 cases of hospitalised patients.
With very little concrete test evidence available from the CDC and FDA a lot of vapers are worrying for their health. People who are still smoking tobacco are delaying their beginning into vaping, vapers are turning back to cigarettes and the usual suspects are using the press to scream about the curse that is Vaping.
What has been identified as a "key focus" of the FDA, a strong candidate for these illnesses, but given very little air time, is Vitamin E Acetate. The New York Department of Health identified high levels of Vitamin E Acetate in nearly all 34 patient submitted products that were tested. All were cannabis containing products and furthermore this additive is not approved by New York to be used in their Medical Marijuana program so are counterfeit or black market products sold illegally and not subject to New York's Health Departments testing and regulatory body.
Vitamin E is used as a thickening agent in black market cannabis products. When cannabis oil is in short demand then higher levels of thickening agent are used to fill cartridges. Currently in California there is a concentrated effort to clean up the illegal cultivation of marijuana which has resulted in a shortage of cannabis oil and also the overuse of Vitamin E thickening additive in THC vaping cartridge products. California is thought to be the biggest source of cannabis vaping cartridges that are illegally sold throughout the U.S.
All states effected by the illness have found a majority of patients have reported using THC products leading up to their illness & health officials have reason to believe those numbers to be higher, given the unwillingness of some to report the use of cannabis products with family present. They have also reported nearly all samples of THC products submitted contained Vitamin E Acetate traces. All the nicotine only vaping products tested did not contain the vitamin.
Again nicotine/e-liquid vapers may be about to be included with an event that is possibly being caused by another product & with people who don't do any research into what they are about to do, buy inferior, counterfeit, cheap and obviously illegal products. Who then go and post photos holding signs or make media statements blaming vaping, not their own stupidity and ignorance that lead to this. Still early days and a possibility that they could find a link to this side of vaping. Although it would not surprise me if the current statement of
"no particular vaping devices or products had been linked to all cases"
could be carried through the entire investigation and be the way the incident is left, to further harm the entire vaping community and strengthen anti vaping sentiment.
Please don't think that I am being heartless and not sympathetic to the people and families that have been devastated by this. I entered the vaping business world to help and hopefully assist as many people away from the cigarettes as possible. However the only way this kind of thing may stop happening is if these people are not treated like battlers, heroes and now messengers of a better world, but shown as the careless people they are. Would they get the same outpouring of support if they drove a car underage with no license, lessons or knowledge whatsoever of the vehicle and nearly killed themselves.
Would they be encouraged or interviewed & given the time of day making statements like - I want to start a no cars campaign or driving should be banned as they're not safe??
Calls to ban something from 18yr olds that are using illegal products or using a device that is only meant for people to overcome an addiction that other cessation devices have not succeeded in doing. 18yr olds that are trying to start a campaign to stop people having access to something that could save their lives and rid themselves of something they may have been a slave to for 20+ years.
Now we are also seeing the bigger names in politics and gov't beginning to make statements that are whipping fear into people.
*New York's health commissioner, Howard Zucker, told the U.S. people "to stop using vape products until the CDC could determine the cause of the vaping-related illnesses nationwide."
*Dana Meaney-Delman, a CDC affiliated doctor leading the inquiry, said “While this investigation is ongoing, people should not use e-cigarette products,” a recommendation that extends to both nicotine and cannabis vaping devices.
*Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, "God only knows what all is in there". Norman said.
"There should be a moratorium on the sale of these products until we know more."
A ban on all vape products and/or return to cigarettes by large numbers of vapers would start increasing the current 1,300 U.S. deaths a day at the hands of tobacco smoking quite a bit. Dr Norman and so many like him seem to have given up on the idea of stopping the big killer - tobacco and focused on easier targets.... affecting the people who have just got themselves away from the known and historically documented killer.
Most vapers will not try to convince anyone that vaping is 100% safe and we should all be open to the possibility that we may be putting ourselves in serious danger.
What every vaper will ask for though, is their right to move themselves away from a fatal habit by way of something that has allowed them to succeed already.
Along with that if there is evidence to say we are harming ourselves that it be presented honestly with quantifiable data that's sourced for the benefit of our health and not to protect some CEO's annual salary package.
If you happen to be a non vaper/smoker reading this then perhaps you could create a differing point of view the next time the vaping is raised and spoken of negatively. We need you to become involved in helping to see that we are given a fair chance at keeping our health or someone you know and their future. This is an actual life or death scenario where there seems to be a lot on the side that's keeping smokers dying.
As vapers this is an awful lesson to remind us not be neglectful to our safety and risk it all by saving a few dollars by buying e-liquids and some other vape gear from companies in countries that don't have guidelines, policies and regulations, like the ones in USA, UK, NZ etc (and hopefully Australia one day) that make sure of the quality of products that yu are vaping with.