The spread of a respiratory illness (over 450 possible cases and 5 deaths) across the US has sparked concerns among vapers across borders as well. While the illness has been linked to vaping counterfeit or low-quality THC products, the investigation into the direct causes and circumstances of the disease is still ongoing. At this point, possible cases of the illness have been reported in 25 US states.
With that, health experts in the UK have reassured British vapers that they are safe.
Martin Dockrell, head of Tobacco Control at Public Health England, has elaborated on the differences between vaping in the US and the UK saying that the initial reports suggested that most cases in the US had been linked to the use of illicit vaping fluid, most of which contained THC, or synthetic cannabinoids (like spice):
“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,” he said.
Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health, has confirmed that no serious side-effects from vaping have yet been reported in the UK. She also added that vapers could check whether the e-liquid they are buying has been approved for sales in the UK on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) website.
This was supported by the public health expert at Edinburgh University, Professor Linda Bauld:
“It seems highly unlikely that widely available nicotine-containing vaping products, particularly of the type regulated in Europe, are causing these cases.” She went on to confirm that all the available evidence suggested that illicit marijuana vaping products were the substances causing the disease.
While the illicit products blamed for the spread of the respiratory disease seem to not be on sale in Europe, it is still advised to exercise caution when purchasing e-liquids and make sure you are buying certified products from reliable sources.
What is your take on the recent developments? Do you think this will lead to stricter regulations on the e-liquid market?