Government Agencies Continue to Double Back on Vaping
Last week The Wall Street Journal reported, "the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had moved away from a broad recommendation that people consider refraining from vaping altogether..." This has been a complete 180 from their previous announcement in September, during the peak of the lung injury outbreak. In the CDC's September announcement they recommended that people should completely end the use of vaping products. Shortly after their initial recommendation, they shifted focused onto THC vaping products and began advising people to stop using vaping products containing THC, but also to consider refraining from nicotine vapor products. This change was a step in the right direction, but it was also made when many news organizations and even ourselves (Zamplebox) had already been reporting that these injuries seemed to be exclusively linked to illegal, black-market THC cartridges. In August, Rolling Stone published this very informative article about the dangers of illegal THC cartridges. Two months later in October, early reports from the CDC show 86% of lung injury patients reported THC cartridge use. How did Rolling Stone have this information available two months before the CDC? Even with all of this information available for months before the September announcement, they still put blame for these injuries on legal nicotine vapor products. These over-reactionary public statements continue to make the CDC look less like a disciplined government agency, and more like a cat chasing a laser pointer.
What Took the CDC So Long to Get it Right?
This newest advisory now only recommends not using THC vaping products and leaves out the broad reference to all vapor products, all while maintaining its recommendation that youth, pregnant women, and non tobacco users should not vape. Yet, that was never (and would never be) recommended by anyone in the vapor industry in the first place. Brian King, the chief science officer for the CDC, followed up these revisions with this statement, "Recommendations were refined to reflect the best available scientific evidence and to best protect public health." We understand the need to make these recommendations, and we believe the path to a bright future for vaping lies in encouraging further conversation. Now let’s find out what the, “scientific evidence” had to say about all of this.
Vitamins Are Not for Vaping
Overwhelming evidence has linked the rash of vaping related illnesses to a substance called Vitamin E Acetate. This substance is an oil that is most commonly seen in illegal counterfeit THC cartridges, used to dilute the THC concentrates and increase the yield of their products. THC concentrates and additives such as Vitamin E Acetate are oil based and not water soluble. These are very different from water based ingredients found in e-liquid. E-liquid has always been exclusively water based and has never had any oil based ingredients. THC vapor products and nicotine vapor products are very different and these differences are important for the public to be aware of, so they can be able to properly protect themselves. The CDC has issued warnings like this in the past for many different types of products. Most recently, a warning regarding romaine lettuce was released by the CDC. This warning did not warn about all types of lettuce, but targeted one specific culprit and from one specific part of the U.S. Why did the CDC not follow the same course of action this time? The facts about these lung injuries were available long before the CDC’s announcement.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
The CDC is not the only one rolling back statements made about nicotine vapor products. Just shortly before the CDC's turnaround, the World Health Organization (WHO) conclusively acknowledged that nicotine vapor products/ e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes. We really have seen some great progress from health organizations recently and we are glad that the facts about vaping are starting to be brought to light. These organizations are finally catching up with organizations such as Public Health England, The Royal College of Physicians, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. All three of these organizations have held the fact that vaping/e-cigarette use is much less harmful than smoking and a benefit for public health for many years. Did the user comments and testimonials finally breach the CDC and their obliviousness?