Vaping concerns refuse to go up in smoke as questions remain

Vaping concerns refuse to go up in smoke as questions remain

Posted: by Stericycle on Sep 20, 2019

For many, the introduction of vaping devices offered a neat way out of smoking – seen as less damaging to health, not as addictive and less expensive. However, a batch of deaths in the US connected with vapes has raised serious questions about the safety of the e-cig.

As has become commonplace with such tragedies, the deaths immediately stirred up something of a social media rumour mill, with several commentators leaping to the conclusion that the devices were inherently unsafe.

There is now widespread concern about the true cause of these deaths, with the reason still to be determined. Initial investigations indicate that the deaths could be linked to unlicensed or unregulated vape liquids.

At the time of writing, the US Centres for Disease Control says some 530 people had fallen ill with a mystery lung disease across 33 states. Two-thirds of the cases involved 18- to 34-year-olds. Most are men. Most of those to have fallen ill did so after using liquid containing THC, the compound that produces a high in marijuana, and nicotine.

So – are they safe in the UK? The UK and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency revealed that, between May 20 2016 and September 6, 2019, there had only been 62 reports of adverse reactions linked to e-cigarettes.

Dr Nick Hopkinson, the British Lung Foundation’s medical director, told one newspaper that most incidents involving severe lung reaction were caused by using liquids such as cannabis, vitamin E or non-standard devices.

These numbers may not be directly comparable. However, largely, vaping among young people in America has become something of a trend, while Public Health England reports that most people in the UK who take up vaping do so to quit smoking.

Irrespective of habits, the situation in the US will be watched closely by officials in the UK and across the EU – and if any issue is found with liquids, a product recall can be expected very shortly afterwards.

The scale of the situation means the outcome of the investigation is likely to be swift; giving little time to prepare. In such circumstances, being prepared is key – and having a retail partner ready in advance can be the difference between protecting your customer base, or even losing it.