conventional nicotine eLiquids yet you might have read in the past few months news stories around that have reported on a sudden outbreak of lung related illnesses supposedly linked to vaping. In the US federal and local authorities haven’t yet officially identified what is behind the illnesses, but the news media sure has made its prognosis. Headlines claim that vaping is to blame, stoking the hysteria about the dangers of eLiquids and vaping.
Let's break it down into simple facts: Vaping is a delivery system for flavor and optionally nicotine, just like food is a flavor and calorie delivery system. When there are outbreaks of E. coli, the news doesn't report E. coli outbreak linked to food, because the relevant fact is not that food caused the illness, but which foods are actually infected with the E. coli.
When it comes to bad drugs the news never says the negative effects were drug linked because people want to know exactly which drugs caused the problems. In the cases of vaping linked lung related issues the most important factor is not that the victims were merely vaping, but rather what they were vaping on that caused them incur their issues.
While details have not been made public for all of those hospitalized, in every case where a product has been identified, the culprit was not the eLiquids most vapers enjoy but rather the vaping of illegal THC oil.
In July when the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin made a public announcement about eight teenagers who had been admitted with severe lung disorders, the news simply ignored that hospital officials noted that many of the patients reported vaping THC prior to admission.
Now of course news media around the world love a good hysterical story and so they have have continuously ran story after story of vaping linked hospitalizations. Pretty much all of which have omitted the fact that black market marijuana eLiquid has been identified as the culprit in most of these cases, simultaneously not reporting that not one single case has been linked to nicotine only eLiquids. Not surprisingly if you look at the geography of the situation the majority of most of these stories are in states where marijuana is only available through the black market.
One patient in Utah admitted to buying THC cartridges in Las Vegas that appeared to have been opened, why anyone would use a product that appears to have been tampered with is beyond me, but interestingly doctors in Utah have commented that every case they’ve seen so far has been associated with marijuana oil derived vape cartridges.
To be fair to those who enjoy THC vapes out there it is probably not THC eLiquids alone that is causing these lung related hospitalizations. More than likely it is because black market THC products are not created following good manufacturing practices. Much like your bathtub moonshine there's no quality control and thus tainted vape products are bound to come about.
In California where recreational marijuana is legal, so far at least 21 people have also been hospitalized with severe lung issues, and the state government has issued warnings that the cases seem to stem from unlicensed cannabis products. It's easy then to speculate that the reason these THC consumers risked buying these black market cartridges when regulated THC products are legally available is simply because of cost.
Dr. Milton Teske of the Kings County Department of Health warned in August. “if you’re going to vape THC, get it from a licensed dispensary where you know there’s a certain amount of testing required to do.” adding “It sounds like it’s going to cost twice as much as the stuff on the street, but you don’t want to end up in with a life-threatening respiratory condition.”
The reckless media coverage of the vaping related lung issue outbreaks will only amp up the anti-vaping hysteria that prompts lawmakers in their efforts to squash the legal vaping market. Killing the legal side of the vape market will be a tragedy for public health and in fact, it will make these incidents more frequent and widespread.
As the current outbreak demonstrates, when the legal market fails to supply people with the products they want at the prices they want, illegal purveyors are always happy to step in. We have seen this before with alcohol, drugs, and now with vaporized marijuana.
Bans don’t protect people, they only force them into the black market, and most evidently, they simply do not work. When people have no way legally vape, they will rely on illicit street vapes and DIY'd eLiquids. Resulting in more and more sickness and potentially deaths, which will be on the heads of anti-vape propagandists and the clueless lawmakers who fall for their lies.
Not to shut down you DIY vapers out there, making your own eLiquids may be the only option in the future, just be aware that if you make something that someone else is going to put in your body, it would be best advised to follow good manufacturing processes and to ensure a high quality product.
What do you think about all this vape hysteria? Will it ever end? Does the depravity of the media know no bounds to it's nonsense spreading?