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Update on Dangers of Vapes & E-Cigs

Two people sharing a light for a cigarette
Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the US Food and Drug Administration Act (FDA), has been eyeing a common key chemical in the lung injuries caused by the use of vaping products.

What are Vaping Products?

Vaping apparatus
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Some examples of vaping products and its duplicitous packaging, they look like harmless scented air fresheners.
  • Electronic cigarettes aka e-cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
  • The use of e-cig products is also known as vaping.
  • E-cigs contraptions heat the liquid in the aerosol producing the vapes which are then inhaled into the lungs.
  • The liquid used may contain; nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives. THC is the psychoactive mind-altering compound in marijuana that produces the “high”.

Fluid samples collected from the lungs of some 29 injured persons found vitamin E acetate in all samples.

While vitamin E is often used in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. No one substance has emerged as the causative culprit.

What is Vitamin E Acetate? 

An assortment of edible seeds containing vitamin E
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Vitamin E is of course a vitamin we all eat/use every day. It is a component of many foods such as vegetable oils, cereals, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

  • It is also used as a dietary supplement and for skincare.
  • Does not cause harm when ingested or used topically.
  • Vitamin E inhaled directly into the lungs interferes with its normal functions.
  • Is often substituted for THC.
  • Used as a thickening agent in the liquids used for vaping.

Several other product sources are still being tested.

Per the CDC and FDA, this is the first time that this chemical has been detected and there appears to be much cause for concern.

As always whenever possible the best practice is to stay away from cigarettes or other related inhaled substances.

What the CDC Recommends

CDC continues to caution against the use of e-cigarette and/or vaping products that contain THC, particularly from non-regulated suppliers, such as friends or family and face to face or online dealers. Updated information can be found on their website as it becomes available.

To contact the CDC call 1-800-232-4636. Web: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/