To vape, you need three things – a device (like the ones above), a liquid pod, and a lighter. Individuals either vape in replacement of cigarettes and cigars or as a new way to enjoy a marijuana high. But there are dangers of vaping.
What’s in the pod is the focus of today’s blog post, as what it may injure — or even kill you.
E-liquids contain different levels of nicotine. One of the more popular devices, Juul, contains up to 59 mg/ml of nicotine per pod, the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes.
Over the last few years, there’s been a rise in vaping-related lung illness, of which 78% or more of these incidents have been tied to products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives you the feeling of being high. However, THC’s chemical make-up, C₂₁H₃₀O₂, is very similar to its counterpart, Cannabidiol (CBD), which combats the effects of THC and is not psychoactive.
On October fourth of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised Americans to stop using all THC vaping products while it concludes it’s an investigation into lung-related illnesses. Most of the sicknesses occurred through prefilled cartridges. However, it appears these prefilled pods are often hacked into by the user, creating confusion and uncertainty and the ramifications of vaping cannabis in its original form.
Dr. Brandon Larsen from the Mayo Clinic shared with the New England Journal of Medicine he believes the lung damage many users receive is not directly from the THC oil inhalation, but from inhaling the toxic chemical fumes created from the pod.
Let’s be clear – all roads lead back to THC – in one form or another.
Centers for Disease Control Stats and State Actions
Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director for the CDC, stated, “The epidemic (of injuries and deaths) is continuing at a brisk pace.”
“We get new information every month about how dangerous these products are and the inflammation of the lung cancer risk,” shared Corey Kendrick with the Summit County Health Department.
Males ranging from 15-65 years of age make up most of the vaping sicknesses and deaths in this country.
Please keep in mind that:
- This week alone, vaping took the lives of twenty-three individuals in the US.
- This year, there have been more than 1,100 cases of vaping-related sickness. The symptoms are coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and/or fever.
- Ohio vaping related deaths stand at 28 this year.
Dangers of Vaping
The FDA, CDC, and State of Ohio are concerned about:
- The number of individuals getting sick and dying from vaping
- The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. All the best medical minds in the world still know very little about it.
- The marketing to minors, especially enticing them with flavors such as mint, mango, and cotton candy.
Some states have banned flavored e-cigarettes, while others have prohibited all e-cigarette products until enough is known about the risks. In September, President Trump announced he’s planning on instituting a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes. An Ohio lawmaker is proposing the same ban for the entire state.
What Can You Do
Here are five positive actions you can take today:
- Educate yourself and talk to your kids about the dangers of vaping.
- If you are vaping nicotine, download the quitSTART app or try SmokefreeTXT by signing up online or texting QUIT to 47848. These tools will help you formulate a plan for quitting.
- Please don’t add anything to your pod or use black market pods as they have a risk of THC. Stick strictly to CBD products that are sold in regulated markets.
- The risk associated with vaping or smoking appears to be the same. It was once thought that vaping was the “safer alternative.” We won’t know whether or not that’s true until further research is completed.
- Keep up on the FDA and CDC’s findings by setting Google Alerts on your computer.
How I can Help
Are you concerned about substance abuse in your workplace? Do you have a vaping policy for nicotine and cannabis? Are you clear about Ohio laws and current HR policies?
Where you have questions, I have answers! Give me a call at 330-730-3524 or email me at [email protected] for more information.