Monday, September 30, 2019

Health Concerns on E-cigs and Vaping

Undeniably and undoubtedly, we are seeing growing health concerns over e-cigarettes and vaping. 

According to a government watchdog, vaping has been linked to 200 health problems – including pneumonia and heart disorders – in the UK over the last five years. 

The illnesses were listed in 74 separate “Yellow Card” reports about e-cigarettes filed to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency by the public and healthcare professionals. And forty-nine of the complaints were classified as serious, according to a breakdown of the data seen by UK’s The Sunday Times

These figures emerged as officials were accused of downplaying the risk of vaping illnesses “spreading” to Britain from the US, where at least 12 deaths and 805 cases of lung injury are under investigation. 

Still, Public Health England keep on insisting that most of the American cases “were linked to people using illicit vaping fluid”, such as those containing cannabis products like THC, and pointed to the UK’s tighter safety regulations. 

However, Stanton Gantz, director of the centre for tobacco control and education at the University of California, San Francisco in the US, said it was wrong to dismiss vaping lung disease as “an American phenomenon”. 

He pointed to the case of a 34-year-old woman who was diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia after being admitted to a Birmingham hospital in 2016. Doctors advised her to quit vaping after identifying the cause as vegetable glycerine found in e-cigarretes, according to a case report in the British Medical Journal. 

The death from lipoid pneumonia of 57-year-old Terry Miller in 2011 was also linked to the use of e-cigarettes after oil was found in his lungs. A coroner returned an open verdict at the inquest after saying he could not be sure whether vaping was a contributory factor. 

The MHRA said they are reviewing the information gathered by the Yellow Card scheme and emphasized that the reports of adverse reactions did not necessarily mean that they were caused by vaping. 

A spokesperson said: “The MHRA assess all reports received in association with nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and should any potential safety concerns be identified we will take appropriate action to protect public health”. 

And PHE continue to advise that vaping is far safer than smoking, which kills nearly 100,000 people every year in the UK. There were around 7.2 million British adult smokers in 2018, according to official figures. 

We cannot ignore the fact that ‘safer’ does not equate to being safe. 

Anyway, the following countries/territories have already prohibited e-cigarettes altogether: Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Brazil and Panama. 

And India is the latest country to embrace the ban two Wednesdays ago.

When is Malaysia's turn, I wonder.

Just in case there are ignorant people out there, e-cigarettes ARE tobacco products.

The US Food and Drug Administration deemed e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah and pipe tobacco, as tobacco products in 2016. 

E-cigarettes, in fact, are “vaping” devices  they come in many shapes and sizes  that mimic the act of smoking. They are battery-powered gadgets that heat a liquid mixture that usually contains nicotine and other ingredients, which are inhaled by the user

There are now approximately 8,000 e-juice flavors (like menthol, fruit, candy, chocolate, sweets) and the vast variety of flavors attracts youths to trying them.

The WHO have already warned that misinformation spread by the tobacco industry about e-cigarettes being "safer" is "a present and real threat".

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