We realise many of you will have seen the disturbing news stories coming from the USA, where there have been 380 cases of respiratory disease reported among ‘otherwise healthy young people’, which US officials claim are caused by vaping.
As a responsible and honest vaping business who takes the health and safety of our loyal customer base into constant consideration, we feel it is only right that we should inform you of the facts as we currently know them.
Firstly, we can be very clear that there have been no reported illnesses linked to vaping in the UK.
Secondly, in the US and much of the international media, there is no reasonable distinction between vaping products designed as a harm reducing alternative to smoking and vaping illicit drugs.
The experts are telling us that all of the available evidence so far suggests that the unfortunate victims of this outbreak have been using black market THC (marijuana) vape products or other homebrew e-liquids. Some of these bootleg products contain synthetic cannabinoids like spice and are not products bought from or produced by reputable manufacturers, but in fact from street dealers.
“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”.Martin Dockrell, head of Tobacco Control at Public Health England
From what we know, the most likely cause of the illness is Vitamin E Acetate.
Vitamin E acetate is a common food additive which is used in topical skin treatments and is not known to cause any harm when ingested. However it does have oil like properties, which means that when vaped it is likely to cause the kinds of respiratory symptoms that have been reported – shortness of breath, chest pains and coughing. The Washington Post have reported that the FDA have stated that ‘nothing unusual’ has been found in the nicotine containing e-liquids that have been submitted to officials. However this is not being reported by the media, and it seems the key information wasn’t relayed to the president before he made his somewhat awkward announcement this week.
In the UK we have very robust regulations surrounding the production and distribution of vaping products. These regulations came into effect on May 20th 2017 and are known throughout the EU as the Tobacco Products Directive or TPD. Once transposed and established within UK law, we named it the TRPR or Tobacco and Related Product Regulations.
We have a strict list of banned ingredients which includes anything with carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic properties, formaldehyde, Diacetyl and many more. There is an obligation to conduct emissions tests and create full toxicological dossiers on all nicotine containing e-liquids. This information must be submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency before the product can be placed on the market. This ensures that our consumers can have complete faith in the products that they are purchasing.
“In Britain, you can check on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) website whether the product you’re using has been notified and can be legally sold.”Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Fortunately, here in the UK our Public Health Experts have been quick to respond to these stories and allay any fears that vapers in the UK may have.
“These cases are worrying and need investigating but advice from all official bodies in the UK is that it is always preferable to vape than to smoke. These reports should not change that advice”Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford
“There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than completely switch to vaping”John Newton, Director of Health Improvement for Public Health England
At Puffin Clouds, we make the safety of our customers the top priority. All E-Liquids we sell at Puffin Clouds are EU TPD compliant. This includes US made brands like Purity. Purity even go one stage further and have all their e-liquids independently tested to ensure no trace of harmful ingredients such as Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl. These lab reports are available on the Halo/Purity website or directly from us.
It wouldn’t be right to publish this article without highlighting some of the dangers of vaping as we see them. Short Fill E-Liquids (no nicotine) are not regulated by the UK/EU Tobacco Products Directive and this is something that we believe needs addressing. We may not sell the vast range of short fill e-liquids that other retailers sell, but all ours have TPD compliant 10ml equivalents, ensuring the ingredients of every short fill e-liquid we sell have been properly tested.
We always say to our customers that vaping is 95% safer than smoking (NHS England) but there is a 5% danger that we probably won’t know about for 20 years. Not vaping at all is the safest solution without question, however, vaping is a lot safer than smoking.