Black Market THC Probable Cause Of One US Death and Lung Disease Cluster
One death and a spate of series respiratory diseases across America should not be blamed on vaping say UK experts.
There have been 193 reported cases showing various symptoms and whilst no official explanation is forthcoming, what is clear is that all appear to be linked to black market bought cartridges containing Tetrahydrocannabinol – THC – the active ingredient in the cannabis plant.
As you might expect, the media in America and indeed across the globe has been quick to pounce suggesting this is the “first reported death from vaping” using sexed-up headlines and shock stories.
Shame on them for using someone’s death to score points and without meaning to do so myself, I have to say the timing of these lung disease ‘clusters’ is significant as America creeps to a slow ban of all things vape.
Now two highly respected UK medical experts have stepped into the debate.
Professor Linda Bauld, from the Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh, said:
"We have no evidence that they are linked to the types of e-cigarettes used by over 3 million people in the UK.
Details from the USA are sketchy and clearly, further investigation is needed, but these cases appear to be linked to contaminated or black market e-liquids.
They may also be linked to vaping substances other than nicotine including cannabis oils that have been tampered with or modified.
These reports from the USA do not change available evidence that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking when the devices are used as intended (to deliver nicotine to smokers trying to quit).
However, these reports from the USA may serve as a reminder that vapers, and smokers considering vaping to quit, need to buy products from reputable retailers that comply with content, packaging, labelling and marketing requirements."
She was joined by Prof Robert West, from the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London, who said:
"Whenever reports appear of serious health problems of a kind that are previously unheard of in users of a novel product, these must be investigated as a matter of urgency.
However, it is not good practice to assume a causal link ahead of such an investigation.
If a causal link looks plausible – for example, if the probability looks significantly greater in users than non-users – then we should ask whether this is intrinsic to the product or a result of faulty production. It appears that official reports and newspaper coverage of the incidents linked to vaping have not followed this practice."
My heart goes out to the family and friends of the person that died and I really hope those affected with the respiratory disease have a swift recovery.
What I do condemn is the media and politicians hungry to ban vaping scoring cheap political points and scaremongering headlines before the true facts are known.