Mainstream Media has locked their jaws on the “vaping epidemic” for a while now, and has recently poured jet fuel on the subject with 6 deaths now related to “vaping”.
Let’s clear up some of the mass confusion fueling such hysteria.
Nuance and Distinction are key in this conversation, and often lacking in Mainstream Media (MSM) reporting on the topic.
First off, recent lab tests have shown that Vitamin E Acetate (Vitamin E) is the primary culprit in the illnesses and deaths related to Lipoid Pneumonia, something you get from inhaling certain oils (lipids), and something you really don’t want to get.
I’ve spoken out against inhaling anything with MCT oil in it for years, specifically due to the increased risk of lipoid pneumonia.
MCT Oil is found in many popular brands of vape products.
I’m also not a fan of Propylene Glycol (PG), which is the primary synthetic base liquid ingredient found in 99% of e-Liquids for e-Cigarettes / Vaporizers.
After discovering the hard way that I and countless others are allergic to PG, I sought PG-free alternatives.
I settled on formulating an Organic PG-Free e-Liquid product line to solve my own problem, as the few others available were not up to my quality standards, used PG-carried flavors claiming the products were PG-Free, and in testing they made me quite sick.
It so happens that customers report this Organic PG-free formulation alleviates common issues vapers experience such as chronic “vape” cough, “vape tongue” where taste buds are desensitized and olfactory sense is diminished, along with itchy skin and rashes that disappear when PG is removed.
Secondly, the reported deaths have been linked to THC concentrates, primarily from shady sources straight out of China.
NOT from nicotine containing e-Juice/e-Liquid used in most e-Cigarettes/Vaporizers.
Excerpt from a GQ article on this topic:
"Investigators with the FDA have found that a contaminant, vitamin E acetate, has shown up in the oil of some marijuana vaping products, and that same chemical has turned up in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who have recently fallen ill in New York.
In a call with state officials on Wednesday, members of the FDA said that they haven't found any similar contamination in nicotine products."
Yes, some toxic e-Cig vape liquids have been tested, and you guessed it, traced back to the sources in shady and highly unclean factory environments in China.
Some Chinese companies have gone so far as to counterfeit clone big brand names and packaging, Juul being the most notable biggest target.
These are then being purchased by gas stations and mini-marts looking for cheaper products in order to boost profit, thus taking advantage of low income communities and unsuspecting customers looking to save a buck on their vape cartridges (aka “Pods”).
In addition to Vitamin E, high levels of pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead etc.), mold toxins (mycotoxins), and other synthetic chemicals and toxic agents have been found in these Chinese knockoffs.
Let me be clear, the above list of toxins are all things you want to avoid in any scenario, especially inhalation.
Many of the affected users reported purchasing their THC products from street sources, not shops or stores that carry these types of products and source responsibly.
“The street” aka black market is where contaminated products often first penetrate a market.
If Cannabis and e-Cigs were regulated fairly and properly (big discussion on it’s own, highly controversial, many conflicting powers and interests at play, long history), then cheap contaminated products would be much more challenging to infiltrate markets in the first place.
With proper manufacturing regulations and batch lab testing, vendors and end-user customers can rest easy and vape with confidence knowing the products they are choosing from are free of toxic contaminants and impurities.
Many flavor agents used in e-Liquids are carried by PG, and often are made up of molecules that IMO should not be inhaled.
The flavorings used by the vape industry came from the baking industry, meant for pastries and baked foods.
Very different eating a flavor in a food processed by digestion vs. atomizing it to inhale, processing via the lungs.
Still PG either way, still not a fan of either due to it’s synthetic production and resulting effects in humans.
Just because something is labelled as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) does not mean it IS safe.
This goes beyond vaping.
Just like if something is labeled Vegan, Raw, or Plant-Based, does not automatically mean it’s healthy for everyone.
Nuance and Distinction, my friend.
If you’re not sensitive to Lectins, Oxalates, and Anti-Nutrients found in Kale, Grains, and other “health foods”, go ahead and enjoy them.
If you are sensitive, reduce or avoid them, and if you feel better, great!
It comes down to Education, Informed Action + Choice.
There is also an interesting link from the world of vegan/plant-based proteins and the illnesses/deaths linked to inhaling THC concentrates contaminated with Vitamin E and the toxins listed earlier.
Many of the top selling brands of vegan/plant-based protein powders and related products have been lab tested by multiple third-party labs showing incredibly high contamination levels of toxic heavy metals, Glyphosate/pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, mold toxins, and numerous others.
Cheap shady unregulated manufacturers, yep, in China.
(To be clear, this is not to be misconstrued as an attack or universal perspective opinion on China. The specific people and manufacturers producing mass quantities of toxic contaminated products the rest of the world buys in bulk and is now harming consumers in record numbers are what I have a problem with. I doubt China is the only country employing these poor practices, it’s simply the largest verified source to focus on combating this issue and reducing harm.)
Now, for a quick intro to the Cognitive Bias relevant to this discussion known as “Compassion Fade”.
"Compassion fade is a cognitive bias that predisposes people to behave more compassionately towards a small number of identifiable victims than to a large number of anonymous ones.
It is the psychological explanation to the known phenomenon alluded by Joseph Stalin in his famous quote "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic”."
This bias (among others) is being leveraged by the media to get you as the reader/consumer of headline news to believe “Vaping Kills” and thus go forth propagating such a mind virus in the world.
To put it into perspective, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently updated their statistics on deaths related to Tobacco, aka smoking combustible cigarettes.
The death toll?
More Than 8,000,000+ Lives Per Year.
8 Million deaths, directly and indirectly linked to smoking cigarettes.
Here are their Key Facts:
* Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
* Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
* Around 80% of the world's 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
Now, consider the “Vaping Kills” media campaign.
6 deaths reported... from THC concentrate products purchased on the street... containing Vitamin E and other toxic contaminants when inhaled... traced back to sources in China producing counterfeit products.
Which one do you think is more of a true epidemic?
Not to mention the deaths and harm related to Alcohol use.
Nor the deaths per year and harm related to Pharmaceutical Medications, taken as prescribed as well as abused.
Nor the deaths per year from processed foods and refined sugars.
The list goes on.
This current media campaign also gets the double air-time bonus of slamming the e-Cig vaping industry (nicotine/non-nicotine containing e-Liquids), AND the Cannabis vaping industry (concentrated liquids), at the same time, in the same articles, in the same TV news clips.
It’s not the Nicotine.
It’s not the THC.
It's not Vaping.
The lung illnesses and deaths “related to vaping” are caused by inhaling toxic contaminated counterfeits produced by Chinese manufacturers.
Most notably, Vitamin E contamination in THC concentrate vaporizers.
There are cities and states banning e-Liquid flavors, and even banning vaping completely, such as San Francisco.
Remember that statistic of deaths related to smoking?
Where are the bans on cigarettes?
What about the bans on alcohol?
The bans on Pharmaceutical Medications, Opioids etc.?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any bans being put in place for the substances verifiably responsible for killing tens of millions of humans worldwide per year.
If you’d like to investigate and educate yourself further on Big Tobacco and Vaping, the documented collusion with the FDA and Governments, including the scientific community, I highly recommend watching the documentary "A Billion Lives" made by Aaron Biebert and his crew.
Aaron is also in production on another documentary I’m excited to see when it’s released, called “You Don't Know Nicotine"
Vaping high quality, lab-tested, clean products helps a lot of people quit smoking cigarettes.
Lung health improves, risk of death by tobacco, heart disease, and cancer decreases, and second-hand smoke stops harming everyone exposed to it.
Yes, there are concerns about certain flavor ingredients used by some companies, which I believe should be investigated further, and preferably removed from e-Liquid products as they shouldn’t be inhaled, same as PG.
That’s why I don’t use them or produce them.
PG is cheaper, PG-flavors taste better, Manufacturers are all set up to run PG on their production lines, and my company would make a lot more money selling a lot more bottles of e-Liquid if I didn't care about quality, health, and safety of our customers.
No, we don’t know the “long term associated risks” of e-Cigarette use.
Maybe 100 years down the line we will. This is the go-to argument most often cited by debaters, and a flawed one.
What we do know is that we have enough scientific data and real-world results of over 10yrs of vaping present in large populations around the globe, so far all clearly showing the dramatic positive impact it is having on human health, in addition to reducing the death toll from smoking cigarettes.
Nuance and Distinction.
Education, Informed Action, Understanding, and Choice.
Do your own research, form your own opinions, and be mindful of the tricks the media and politicians employ to persuade you to believe whatever is on their power and profit driven agenda at the time.
Especially before you parrot their scare tactic headlines as irrefutable fact, fueling the confusion, lining up the targets for alphabet agencies and govs, and doing more harm than good in the long run.
The choice is yours.
P.S. - I highly recommend anyone under the age of 21, preferably age 25 based on neuroscience, avoid cigarettes and vaping entirely, until the brain has fully developed.
Even then, just don't start smoking combustible cigarettes in the first place. It's not cool. It harms you and everyone around you exposed to the toxic smoke. It smells bad. Enough already.
If you’re an adult not using vaping products to quit smoking cigarettes, no need to start.
If you’re interested in experimenting with the cognitive boosting and beneficial effects Nicotine is scientifically validated in providing, it’s your choice, and please choose a PG-free, lab-tested, preferably Organic sourced nicotine e-Liquid for your experimentation to avoid the dangers of toxic contaminants.
There are also delivery methods for testing Nicotine other than vaping, such as Pixotine Nicotine Toothpicks and Lucy Nicotine Gum.
I don’t recommend Nicotine Patches and Sprays as they often contain other harmful ingredients you’re better off avoiding.
CDC, states update number of cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping -
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