Is vaping still a safer alternative to smoking? - 5 News Video
This 5 NEWS TV story is a quick two-minute video about vaping - recent research has shown just how effective e-cigarettes are at helping people quit smoking and despite this research, many people are still confused about whether or not vaping is still a safer alternative to smoking.
Currently, the UK has much stricter controls over vape manufacturers than any other country. The vaping manufacturing process is highly regulated as are the ingredients used in e-liquids - all toxicology reports must be registered with the UK medicines regulator, MHRA. Over recent months, there has been a spike in media reporting over suspected deaths and lung injuries in the US pertaining to vaping. All the cases confirmed in the US relate to the use of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the active ingredient that makes people get “high” when they smoke cannabis.
In the US, where cannabis smoking has been legalised in some States, there has been a growing trend of vaping e-liquids that contain THC. Some “black market” liquids, unfortunately, included a thickening agent known as vitamin E acetate. Commonly used in cosmetics and completely safe applied to the skin, vitamin E acetate is unsuitable for vaping and is known to cause harm. All cases occurred in the US around the same time in 2019 which indicates that this was a batch related instance of vaping THC with vitamin E acetate.
Such injuries were not found anywhere in the rest of the world, despite widespread use of nicotine e-cigarettes since 2010. This is because the injuries are not related to vaping, the means of delivery, but to illicit THC e-liquid mixed with vitamin E acetate, the product that is being delivered. Most media articles fail to make this distinction clearly and use the generic term "vaping" rather than what is being vaped that is causing the harm.