Is Vaping Linked to Lung Cancer? Policy Versus Reality


We covered the news on recent vaping
related lung injuries a couple months
ago but a lots happened since then time
for an update as of November 13th over 2,000
cases of vaping related lung injury have
been reported in the United States and
in US territories and 42 deaths have
been confirmed one team even received a
double lung transplant due to extensive
tissue damage after vaping initial
investigations pointed to THC containing
products vitamin E acetate and black
market vaping products in general as
potential culprits in the sudden
epidemic the CDC has now confirmed that
vitamin E acetate is a definitive
chemical of concern though evidence is
not yet sufficient to rule out the
contribution of other chemicals
laboratory testing of lung fluid from 29
patients from 10 different states
detected vitamin E acetate which is
likely used as a thickening agent in THC
containing vape products of the samples
tested 82% were found to contain THC and
62% were found to contain nicotine given
this information the CDC recommends
against using THC containing vaping
products particularly those purchased
from informal sources including friends
family or in person and online dealers
they also recommend against using any
vaping product that has been modified
after being purchased from a formal
retail establishment modified of course
includes the addition of anything to the
e-liquid like vitamin E acetate
responses this epidemic was Swift and
included proposals to raise the legal
purchasing age to 21 banned flavored
vape products and even included the
removal of vaping related apps that
allow users to control program belay
pens from their phones though the
current administration recently backed
down from promises to ban flavored
vaping products these and other
reactions are good examples of policy
not matching reality even in the
beginning we had evidence to suggest
that products purchased from legitimate
sources were not really the problem
vaping offers an arguably safer
alternative to individuals trying to
quit traditional cigarettes and a large
number of people protested against the
ban with personal stories about how
vaping helped them kick their tobacco
habit there's some merit to the idea of
banning flavored products too
dress rising rates of vaping among youth
but those rates have been rising for a
while and the proposal of banned flavors
was only introduced when this epidemic
started to spread
if banning flavored a liquids results in
individuals turning back to their
tobacco habit the harms may outweigh the
benefits instead we might consider
options like targeting the way these
products are marketed and sold to youth
if banning of legal vaping products
forces people to turn to homemade
products which caused the problem in the
first place that's bad too this isn't
the first that it probably won't be the
last time I say it health policy too
often fails to be evidence-based and
reality based we can do better
Haeju enjoyed this episode you might
enjoy this other episode on vaping and
lung cancer is there a link another good
way to support the show is by going to
patreon.com slash healthcare triage
where you like our surgeon admiral sam
and our research associate joe seventh
can help make the show bigger and better

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