EVALI: The Vaping Disease
Updated: Jan 13
Vaping. Its nothing new. E-cigarettes have been used as alternatives to tobacco for years! But in recent months, its become a public health crisis. You may be aware of all of the negative attention that vaping has received in the news. in fact, there have been around 1,300 cases of a mysterious vaping disease, or EVALI, and 12 deaths have been reported. Some vape related injuries have resulted from overheated and exploding devices!
Since 2007, vapes haven't been heavily regulated. In fact, all vaping products on the market are technically illegal, which is pretty wild to think about. In a survey, nearly 30% of high schoolers reported having vaped in the past month!! 30% is low key kind of high.
So if vapes have such negative consequences, and use has increased in children across the U.S., why aren't greater measures being taking to fight the epidemic??
Vapes have been seen as successful in decreasing cigarette addictions, and many fear that restricting access to them may cause another increase in use of tobacco products.
But vapes haven't just been used to replace cigarettes; they've also been used as convenient, odorless ways to consume weed.
THC in marijuana is linked to several health benefits and it’s commercial use has been legalized in several states across the U.S. But, in an investigation, THC vapes are found to hold a possible link. While THC has many health benefits, the marijuana market it one with even less regulation than the vaping market. Many of these "pens" are sold on the street from unreliable sources.
Several states are working to protect the public. Massachusetts has banned the sale of all vaping products, while Colorado state regulators are working toward banning toxic ingredients marijuana vapes. These ingredients include:
Polyethylene glycol (PEG);
Vitamin E Acetate; and
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT Oil)
But why these ingredients specifically? These ingredients are sometimes used to thin out the oil to make it possible for vaporization. Turns out, several studies have found that polyethylene glycol breaks down into carcinogens when heated high temperatures!
This revelation is relatively new, but as research is still being developed, health officials are advising the public to stay away from all vaping products. EVALI is a very serious, life threatening disease, and regulators are working to protect the public health and wellbeing, but in the meantime, make sure protect yourself, and stay informed!
As always, I'd love your thoughts and questions. Connect with me vie email (TheHealthcareScoop@gmail.com) or on Instagram (@YourHealthcareScoop)!