Vaping Related Deaths in the USA – What You Need to Know
As an eighth death in the United States is linked to vaping, we’ve received many questions from our customers about whether our products are putting their heath at risk.
As vapers ourselves, we’ve taken this very seriously, so we’ve examined the cases, looked at what’s being said in the press, and sought out the opinions of healthcare experts.
What we’ve discovered is that while people in the USA have become ill and died after vaping specific types of eliquid products, these harmful products are not on sale in the UK.
If you’re looking for reassurance, we’re happy to say that no UK-made eliquids contain the chemicals and compounds linked to these deaths in America, as our regulations are much tighter than those in the US.
But if you need a little more information, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.
Is Vaping Really Killing People in the USA?
As of this week, eight people in the USA have died as a result of vaping a certain type of e-cigarette product.
The cause of death has been a condition caused by oils and fats condensing in the lungs. No EU or UK-made eliquids contain these oils or fats.
In fact, all of the deaths have been linked to inhaling home-made and bootleg eliquids containing THC or synthetic cannabis.
Much like past fears of “popcorn lung” caused by the chemical diacetyl, vapers here in the UK are protected by a range of legislation. Eliquid products here are tightly regulated, meaning that they can’t contain THC, harmful oils, or diacetyl. Over in the USA, and on the black market, no such legislation exists, meaning it’s far easier for users to buy low quality or potentially dangerous products.
Nicotine eliquids and CBD eliquids are both covered by these rules, meaning that as a British consumer you’re protected from the compounds causing these diseases and deaths.
What Do Experts Say?
While over in the USA, lawmakers are moving to throw the baby out with the bathwater and ban many kinds of vaping products, this is down to a lack of safety legislation that means users are being exposed to dangerous eliquids.
Here in the UK, our strong health and safety legislation, along with the EU’s recent TPD rules, mean that you’re far, far safer. In fact, health authorities have released statements encouraging vapers not to let these scare stories send them back to tobacco.
Public Health England have said that the “false fears” over vaping boosting tobacco use is actually worse for the public than any risk that vaping using tightly-regulated UK and EU-made products pose to users. The organisation’s head of Tobacco Control has also explained that it’s bootleg liquids that cause a threat:
“A full investigation is not yet available but we’ve heard reports that most of these cases were linked to people using illicit vaping fluid bought on the streets or homemade, some containing cannabis products, like THC, or synthetic cannabinoids, like Spice.
All e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety
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.
Our advice remains that e-cigarettes are a fraction of the risk of smoking, and using one makes it much more likely you’ll quit successfully than relying on willpower alone.
But it’s important to use UK-regulated e-liquids and never risk vaping home-made or illicit e-liquids or adding substances, any of which could be harmful.”
Martin Dockrell - Head of Tobacco Control, Public Health England
How Can You Stay Safe?
Following Martin Dockrell’s advice is a good start. But if you’re worried about the risks highlighted by these issues in the USA, we advise that you do take the following steps:
- Only buy eliquids from UK manufacturers
- Buy eliquids from UK websites that follow TPD rules
- Buy eliquids from high street stores, not from markets or car boot sales
- Avoid any US or Chinese-made liquids that may contain banned diacetyl
- Avoid any US-made liquids containing cannabis or THC
The facts of these tragic deaths and illnesses are clear.
Those affected have been buying bootleg or home-made eliquids that contain oils, synthetic drugs, or cannabis.
If you stick to UK-made eliquids made only from PG, VG, flavourings and nicotine, you’ll protect yourself.
So make sure you only buy from companies you can trust. And if you have any worries that a product that you’ve purchased contains potentially harmful additives, notify the HMRA’s yellow card scheme.Otherwise, vape responsibly and vape safely. By steering clear of bootleg eliquids, you’ll protect yourself.