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It’s no secret that e-cigarettes have received plenty of negative coverage in the media in recent months, due to a series of vape-related illnesses and fatalities reported across parts of the US. As a result, your family or friends may now be asking “but isn’t it dangerous?” when they see you with your vape.
If you’re worried, you’re not alone. Our research indicates that many people are wondering if electronic cigarettes are bad for your health.
But (as with most media headlines) there’s much more to the story. We’re here to set the record straight and help you understand why there is such backlash against vaping in America, and what it means for us here in the UK.
What’s happening with vaping in the US?
Amidst the noise of the headlines, it can be difficult to actually understand what the situation is regarding vaping in the US. President Donald Trump has announced plans to ban flavoured e-cigarettes and several states have already placed limits on the sale of vaping products.
After taking a closer look, there seem to be two main streams of concern about vaping: the potential health risk, and the underage use of e-cigarettes.
Vaping and illness
According to recent reports from America’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), 1,479 instances of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes have been reported in the US (as of October 15th 2019), including 33 deaths.
While these numbers are alarming, there’s a significant factor that has caused this outbreak of tragedy in the US, which doesn’t affect the UK in the same way.
The CDC reports: “We do know that THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.”
The majority of vaping-related illnesses in the US are connected to the use of illicit vaping products that have not been approved by a regulatory body, meaning that the using them has exposed people to chemicals that don’t exist in e-cigarette liquids here in the UK.
Underage use of e-cigarettes
Another reason for recent movements to ban vaping is due to the concern regarding young people and e-cigarettes. According to recent reports, 1.5 million teenagers in the US use e-cigarettes.
This is a major health concern for young adults in America, as the CDC maintains the position that “nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.”
US government bodies are reacting against the way that many vaping products are marketed towards youth, by way of colourful packaging and advertising on social media platforms.
Why is vaping safer in the UK?
The e-cigarette industry is a completely different in the UK – here, we have much safer products and a significantly lower number of teenagers using e-cigarettes.
The UK vape market is highly regulated, which ensures that all vaping products have been thoroughly tested and verified for safety before it’s possible for people to access them.
This is very different from the system in the US, where some vaping products were released before the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had control over them, which means they are available for purchase despite the fact that they have never been tested or approved by official bodies.
Regulations in the US are set to change: American e-liquid companies have until May 2020 to apply to the FDA and receive approval, or else products will begin to be taken off the market.
Fewer teens vaping in the UK
Despite the UK’s own fair share of media outcry about the so-called 'teen vaping epidemic’, the latest Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) survey reports: “while some young people, particularly those who have tried smoking, experiment with e-cigarettes, regular use remains low.”
Only 1.6% of 11-18 year old’s in the UK use e-cigarettes more than once a week, compared to an estimated 1.5 million teens in the US.
So, are e-cigarettes dangerous?
Amidst the media storm, Public Health England maintains its position that vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. By approaching vaping responsibly and only using products from approved sellers, you can rest assured that you’re not exposing yourself to the unfortunate risks that exist in the US.
Your health and wellbeing is our primary focus, and we’re committed to meeting UK regulations to bring you the e-liquids and vaping products that have become an important part of your lifestyle. If you have questions or want more information about the safety of our products, please get in touch with our friendly team.