The truth about vaping
Vaping has been heavily featured in 2019 as talk of the first ‘vape deaths’ have emerged. Fatalities reported in clustered locations in the USA has made many media outlets ask whether ‘Vaping is safe?’
What is vaping
Well put simple, vaping is the process of heating an eliquid which is a specially made non tobacco solution, that creates vapour which is then inhaled through a mouth piece. It resembles the action of smoking, but unlike cigarettes, involves no burning, which reduces the exposure to many thousands of carcinogens. Carcinogens are cancer linked chemicals. And they aren’t just found in tobacco, we know now, they are created through the process of burning many items, including toast.
Vaping was developed as a harm reduction method to continue receiving nicotine, but with a far lower degree of risk. But right now, the media suggest otherwise.
Electronic cigarettes have been around since 2003, so these deaths beg the question:
- Are they the result of years of ecig use
- Are they the result of some short term reaction
Depending on which is more closely linked to the outcome, enables us to better understand if these risks are something worth worrying about.
So what happened in the US?
Well, approximately 60 people so far are known to have died from what was initially called ‘Mystery Lung Disease’. It’s been documented now and reported in the US by the Centre of Disease Control and Reduction, that the deaths while resulting from the use of a vaporiser, were actually a result of inhaling THC and CBD oils – which are made of fats that are not soluble in water.
How these vary from e-liquids that one vapes to quit smoking, is that vape eliquid or ejuice, IS soluble in water. This means, the human body can clear away e-liquids when inhaled – fats however are a different story. As fat is not soluble in water, when it is inhaled using a vape kit, it can lead to blockages in the lung alveoli. This can build up and lead to respiratory failure and the onset of ‘Lipoid Pneumonia’. Evidentially, this is what has happened in the USA.
So what does this mean for those using vapes?
Well, so far there have been no reported casualities or fatalities from people using vape kits with properly produced, legally bought e-liquids. In the UK and the USA there are a number of reporting requirements for companies that make vape juices to inform their national regulators. This ensures that only safe products are used in their manufacture and there is a paper trail to follow if problems arise.
This works unless some companies make products illegally. Enter Cannabis Oil vape cartridges. It’s safe to say, that if I told you to put paint in an electronic cigarette, you would understand why that isn’t safe. It’s a misuse of the ecig. Well so it appears is using any form of oil. Where confusion arises, is that some consumers refer to eliquids as oils – they aren’t oils.
So is vaping safe?
If you are using an electronic cigarette as it was intended, ie: to inhale properly produced eliquids from a conventional shop, then as it stands, they still offer a far safer alternative to smoking. The UK’s public health body Public Health England states:
“Vaping is 95% safer than smoking”.
If you choose to misuse an ecig and inhale ACTUAL oils that cannot be broken down in your lungs, then you run the very real risk of harming yourself. That’s our take on the matter.
But what is the 5% not safer than smoking all about?
Well this was really a loose term used to indicate that not everything will always be 100% safer, for example, you don’t run the risk of an electrical fire with a cigarette. A poor quality vape kit could short your electrics while charging in your home and cause a problem. The only thing they have in common with cigarettes is the presence of nicotine. While nicotine is toxic in pure concentrated form, in eliquids it is heavily watered down and represents little more than is received via a nicotine patch.
Tell me about nicotine then
Well nicotine is a stimulant and works on the brain and nervous system in a similar manner that caffeine works. It can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, just as a strong coffee in the morning or a Red Bull would and while it is addictive, it is not generally considered the key harm element in smoking.
The British Heart Foundation state that nicotine is considered generally safe and is only a significant problem to those with cardiac issues.
It is however suggested that nicotine is avoided for those with heart problems or during pregnancy. Which means for those looking to quit smoking but need something to replace the hand mouth habit, nicotine free vape juice exists to meet that need. This is produced very simply, they are eliquids but made with no nicotine, which meets a very real demand.
All in all, the same independent non US bodies that suggest vaping is safer than smoking have not changed their stance in light of the news of American deaths, while the situation remains that the incidents have come from clear MISUSE of a vape kit.
If I hit you around the head with a vape kit, it could kill you. And the headline would say: “Vape kit kills man/woman.” But the real story shouldn’t demonise a regulated and controlled quit smoking industry that has helped millions kick the habit so far.
So does this mean CBD Oil or THC Oil is bad?
No, it just means you shouldn’t vape them. Dropping oils under the tongue as people have done for centuries is not going to lead to a mystery lung disease and be sure to check whether a ‘vape oil’ is an eliquid and not an oil instead. For those women looking for CBD oil, we should state that is considered best to avoid use during pregnancy, as is stated by the US FDA.