UK Health Experts reassure British Vapers that they’re Safe after US Vaping Deaths
November 10, 20232 min read
In the United States, vapers have fallen ill and some have even died. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that a breakthrough in their investigation has revealed that vitamin E acetate has been detected in the lung fluid of 29 patients who were hospitalized after using a vaping device, suggesting that the chemical compound might be responsible for the vaping-related injuries seen in the US.
The majority of the patients indicated to investigators that they had vaped THC and investigators detected vitamin E acetate in samples of THC vaping products that they tested. While the evidence is beginning to pile up pointing to THC vaping products that contain vitamin E, word has traveled quickly to vapers in the UK, leaving some wondering whether they're safe vaping e-cigarettes that contain e-liquid.
Martin Dockrell, the head of Tobacco Control at Public Health England (PHE), looked to reassure British vapers by pointing out the difference between vaping regulations in the UK and US while noting that reports have suggested that most cases of vaping-related illnesses in the US have been linked to the use of illicit vaping fluid. "Unlike the US, all e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and they operate the yellow card scheme, encouraging vapers to report any bad experiences," Dockrell said.
Oxford University professor of behavioral medicine Paul Aveyard said that while these cases of vaping-related illnesses "need investigating," the advice from all of the official bodies in the UK is that "it is always preferable to vape than to smoke" and these news reports "should not change that advice."
In the UK, the official stance of the government is that vaping is likely safer than smoking. Public Health England found vaping e-cigs to be likely 95% less harmful than smoking conventional cigs, which has caused the government to endorse switching from smoking tobacco to vaping e-liquid. At the same time, vaping has quickly become big business in the UK with vape shops popping up all over the place, including online. Online vape shops in the UK like Vapester stock hundreds of different e-liquids from various manufacturers, giving vapers a wide variety of flavors to choose from, and not just flavors, but also different nicotine strengths and PG/VG ratios.
In the US, it's much the same, only regulations are comparatively lacking, which is changing quickly in light of recent reports and investigations. For US vapers, there looms a potential countrywide ban on flavored vaping products, which has left some vapers scrambling to buy flavored vaping products while they still can.
Companies like JUUL, which is the most popular e-cig brand in the US today, has voluntarily pulled all of its flavored vaping products from the marketplace, leaving only menthol and tobacco flavors for US vapers to choose from.