Health September 26, 2019
Vaping-related illness rises in the U.S, prompting ban on flavoured e-cigarettes

By Fabian Sutch-Daggett - World Healthcare Journal

After 450 reports of vaping-related injury, and at least 6 deaths, experts in the U.S are urging citizens to stay away from vaping.

In the U.S, an estimated 10m people use e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, daily. However, this statistic may soon change, as U.S President Donald Trump has now banned flavoured e-cigarettes, after a surge of vaping-related respiratory injury and illness – resulting in at least six confirmed deaths so far.

All patients appear to have developed lipoid pneumonia, which is caused when oil fills the alveolar space within the lungs, causing shortness of breath, respiratory distress, and in some cases, death. “It’s very dangerous. Children have died. People have died,” says US President Trump. “We can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected. ”

Despite being a relatively new market– which is expected to have a value of USD 53b by 2024 – the first “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” was developed in the 1960s by American inventor Herbert Gilbert. However, the Chinese company Hon Lik was the first company to pioneer the modern e-cigarettes we see today, in the mid-2000s.

Ever since, vape usage has been increasing steadily. Market research groups estimate the number of vape users will reach nearly 55m by 2021. The US, UK and France are the biggest markets currently.

But many US health officials and doctors have now urged people not to vape until they determine the cause of the severe respiratory illness which has hospitalised hundreds.

“We need answers before we can start giving guidance, and until we can give guidance, the proper guidance is to say – don’t do it,” says Dr. Mike Varshavski, US physician and online health influencer.

Following this upsurge in vaping-related illness, the FDA and CDC are testing more than 120 different chemicals and compounds, including “nicotine, THC, cannabinoids, diluents, additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons and toxins”.

Various theories have emerged surrounding Vitamin E acetate, a thickener present in some illegal vape cartridges purchased from the black market – which can cause lipoid pneumonia, but the CDC and FDA are not ready to issue a definitive answer to the cause of these vaping related illnesses yet.


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