The battle against nicotine and smoking has been a long-drawn one with governments across the world initiating various programs to educate and inform the public about the dangers of smoking. Although vaping emerged as a practical solution with the potential to help users quit, the activity comes with its own set of cons and challenges. The most significant one being toxic chemicals in bootleg vaping products.
The Ban on Vaping E-Liquids Has Resulted in Unexpected Outcomes
In recent times, the authorities have banned vaping flavors and imposed new regulations that require e-liquid manufacturers to get their products tested in specialist labs. Vendors and manufacturers must check for harmful chemicals and get FDA approval before selling vaping materials in the open market. The intention here is to curb teenage vaping and restrict availability to underage e-cig users. While on paper, the program makes perfect sense, except that vapers are now turning to bootleg vaping products that are available in the black market. The biggest issue here is that these illegal brands contain unknown ingredients.
Hospitals are Noting Cases with Illnesses from Vaping Unknown Products
The horrific result is that almost 12 users have died from complications that lead to lung diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated 805 cases of vaping-related health issues across 46 states nationwide. Aside from flavored e-liquids, other chemicals like THC and cannabinoid liquids are being used in e-cigs with disastrous effects. Medical care facilities are noting an increase in cases with patients experiencing symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, chest pains, difficulty in breathing, and weight loss – all of which are possibly the result of vaping e-juices that contain unregulated substances.
Inexperienced Vapers Are Experimenting with Supposedly Safe Ingredients
Should you check the internet and social media sites, you’ll find hundreds of sites and self-proclaimed “experts” who claim to show you how to make e-liquids at home, if you cannot find your favorite flavors in the market. The alarming fact is that many of the food-grade ingredients are meant to be just that – ingested with food. Vegetable oils, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin are commonly used in e-cigs to act as carriers for the flavors and produce the thick clouds of vapors. But these oils should be heated to high temperatures so that they vaporize completely.
Sub-standard and flawed vaping bootleg vaping products, mods, and e-cigs may not heat up the oils sufficiently, which results in users inhaling them in their liquid state. Human lungs are not designed to process liquids and as a result, the buildup eventually causes difficulty in breathing and respiratory issues.
The Body Responds by Pneumonia-Like Symptoms
Take for example, the compound vitamin E acetate that is commonly found in canola, corn, and soy oils. These oils are safe when used for cooking and since the human digestive system can process them efficiently, they can be eaten. However, all these oils have a vaporizing point at 363 degrees Fahrenheit, which is way higher than the temperatures vaping pods and mods are capable of delivering. When users’ lungs are unable to process the liquid, pneumonia-like symptoms and fat deposits result since the body launches an immune response to fight the alien substances.
Buyers Should be Wary of Garage Manufacturers
DIY e-liquids and cartridges manufactured in garages and sold on the streets has become a problem as big as bootleg vaping products. Not only are they made in unsafe conditions by novices, but a collection of dangerous and unknown components is added in the e-juices as cost-cutting methods. The end result is a concoction of chemicals that could behave in unexpected ways and cause reactions that no one really understands.
In contrast, certified internet vendors like BlackoutVapors.com are likely to put down information about what goes into the e-liquids. They’re also likely to have chat options where users can ask questions about the products and assistance on what to order. Permitting licensed dealers to market products manufactured by American companies might be a better option.
Users Should Also Watch for Additional Toxic Chemicals
Researchers warn of several other chemicals in bootleg vaping products that are a cause for concern. One of which is formaldehyde, a colorless gas used in garment packaging. The chemical ensures that new clothes packed in factories maintain their wrinkle-free appearance. Running the clothes through a wash cycle is enough to remove the irritant that has been found to cause cancer in humans when inhaled.
Users should also be aware of acrolein, a chemical that is commonly used for killing weeds and algae. Also released when gasoline is burned, acrolein changes human DNA when inhaled and is proven to be carcinogenic, much like formaldehyde. In addition to respiratory diseases, these chemicals can also cause gastrointestinal problems.
Is Banning Vaping Products Really the Answer?
Raising awareness about the dangers of nicotine addiction through conventional smoking and vaping is highly essential to warn users of their toxic effects. The fact remains that vaping e-liquids contain various chemicals that are harmful especially for pregnant women and teenagers. But exploring the chemicals’ long-term effects and eliminating them after conducting studies might just be a more practical solution.
The government ban has only resulted in a slew of bootleg vaping products flooding the market, some imported illegally and others made by garage manufacturers under unsafe conditions. Not only are typical precautions ignored, but handling components like highly-potent liquid nicotine can be dangerous. A single drop of nicotine coming into contact with bare skin can cause poisoning needing emergency medical care.
Controlling Nicotine Addiction Needs More Practical Strategies
While it is critical to protect children from nicotine addiction and using vaping products, more practical strategies are needed. Regulating the industry and eliminating chemicals identified by the FDA as harmful could be a wiser option. At this point, preventing the sale of bootleg vaping products and cracking down on contraband pods, mods, and e-liquids is crucial for public health and safety.