Electronic cigarette: what is the "vaping disease", which hits the United States?
The electronic cigarette, less dangerous than tobacco? Difficult to decide. And for good reason, with each new publication claiming that it is less harmful, another study shows the opposite. Not to mention that for a few weeks, the doubt persists even more. And for good reason, the US health authorities have announced a fifth death attributed to the electronic cigarette, in addition to the 450 suspected cases identified since mid-April. Indeed, these fans of vaping, a priori "young and healthy" (for the most part), would report severe lung problems. Half of them had to be treated in intensive care units. One third was placed on respiratory assistance.
THC oil and vitamins E, cause?
But what is it? This is the big question for scientists, who, for the time being, seem to have potentially isolated two common points in most cases: that of vaping inhalation of products containing THC (especially THC), the active ingredient of cannabis, and the presence in e-liquid of vitamin E oil. This last substance is usually consumed, and without danger, in the form of capsule or oil for the skin. But heated to high temperature and inhaled, it could be the cause of a rare form of pneumonia, lipoid pneumonia. Asked by the Washington Post, Daniel Fox, a North Carolina hospital respirologist, who treated five patients explains: "It can be triggered when oils or lipid-containing substances enter the lungs."
In France, "authorized products (...) do not contain oil"
Information to be taken with caution however, health officials have not yet rendered their final verdict. For the moment, their recommendation remains not to use black market products, not to modify them, nor to add substances not planned by the manufacturer. For pregnant women, the authorities advocate not to vapot at all."More information is needed to better understand the relationship between certain products or substances and diseases", said Michael Felberbaum, a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA laboratories are in possession of more than 100 samples involved. To note, in France, "the 35,000 products authorized by ANSES and today sold in stores do not contain oil", reports Professor Bertrand Dautzenberg, a tobacco expert, former pulmonologist and president of Paris Sans Tabac, France Info. A precautionary principle to respect. Especially as long as light has not been made on this case.
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⋙ "light" cigarettes: why they are as dangerous as the others (even worse)