With the exception of those living directly under a rock, you very likely have heard over the past several weeks about various government sources threatening and even implementing vaping bans. This has been a direct result of 7 people dying and up to 400 getting serious lung illnesses over the past several weeks. Let’s review what we have seen so far when it comes to world wide vaping bans.
“India: The India cabinet has announced a ban on the production, import, and sale of electronic cigarettes. This ban will include up to 3 years of jail time…” (Source)
“San Francisco USA has banned the sale of e-cigarettes.”
“New York: Officially banned the sale of flavored vaping products.” (Source)
“Chicago USA: Chicago Mayor stated … he would seek a citywide ban on all flavored e cigarette products.”
“The US president Donald Trump has suggested a flavour ban on vaping products…” (Source)
These are just a few of the growing number of governments eager to ban flavours, or outright ban all vaping products, in an effort to reduce the number of illnesses and deaths currently happening in the US.
Isn’t this a good thing? Banning something bad for your health?
Dr. Michael Siegel suggest that e-cigarette bans are a tremendous overreaction. After reviewing the information from the CDC he has determined that in the overwhelmingly majority of cases it is not using nicotine e-cigarettes causing health issues; but instead, it is vaping illicit marijuana vape cartridges that is at the heart of the matter. “These are THC oils that people are vaping that are getting into the lungs and causing these diseases,” Dr Siegel remarks.
Dr Siegel goes on to state, “We know that there was a contaminant called Vitamin E Acetate Oil that was found in all of the New York Cartridges, THC cartridges that were tested. We know that vaping oil is extremely dangerous to the lungs.”
Dr Siegel suggests that our government are confusing and aligning two separate vaping related issues; one being the vape related deaths & sicknesses, and the second being youth vaping. “If the CDC were to say ‘Hey, don’t vape Marijuana’, I think it would do a lot more to protect people’s lives.”
Dr Siegel also suggests that banning flavoured e-liquids will have little affect on reducing youth from vaping, “I think that kids will use whatever’s in their network. What’s going to happen is if we ban flavoured e-liquids, then they’re just going to start using other types of liquids, namely the THC liquids that are just incredibly easy to obtain. You can just order them over the internet.”
He goes on to further differentiate between THC oil based vape pods and e-liquid commonly purchased at vape shops across the Country by saying, “It makes sense that if they’re vaping largely an oil-based product that could cause lipoid pneumonia. Pretty much all nicotine e-liquids are not oil-based. They’re water based. And so we know for sure that those products can’t cause lipoid pneumonia.”
So what’s the big deal? Even if it has minimal impact on youth, isn’t this a good thing?
The answer is a resounding ‘No’. Dr Siegel states, “We know that the overwhelmingly majority of smokers or ex-smokers who are now vaping, if they stop vaping, they’re most likely going to go back to cigarette smoking and that’s the last thing that we should be doing to public health.”
This is certainly a challenging situation considering the number of uninformed people, and the misguided information coming from the media. As Dr. Siegel concludes, “with an outbreak like this, you don’t want to generalize. You want to be as specific as possible.” Let’s urge our government to make timely & accurate statements based on the best information available at the time, and not rush in with blanket bans of vaping products which stand to effect those of us that are actively using them as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Let’s ban the culprit; illicit THC vape pens & pods are made & sold on the streets.