VTA Asks Health Officials to Speak Responsibly
In light of the seriousness of reports regarding lung disease in youth, the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) strongly urges public officials to thoroughly investigate the circumstances which might have led to each reported hospitalization before making statements to the public as to whether certain products are implicated in these incidents. To date, several public health agencies have failed to provide clear information and, instead, are unnecessarily frightening consumers by failing to distinguish between e-cigarettes and non-nicotine vaporizers.
Recent reports increasingly indicate that these adverse events are linked to illicit substances such as THC and cannabis, not e-cigarettes. For example, the New Mexico Department of Health has clearly determined that products containing THC are likely responsible for the cases highlighted in New Mexico. Despite this, virtually every other public health official continues with their generalized and repeated references to “e-cigarettes.” Such inaccurate warnings will result in either (1) people continuing to use the risky products actually causing the harm about which they have not been specifically warned; or (2) many smokers using e-cigarettes becoming ‘scared’ by these reports and moving back to deadly combustible cigarettes.
VTA condemns in the strongest possible terms the sale or use of black-market products and does not endorse the manipulation or adulteration of vapor products to consume THC, THC oil, marijuana, or synthetic products like K2. E-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing vapor products are designed for the consumption of nicotine to provide adult smokers an alternative to cigarettes; they are not intended to be used to consume illicit substances.
E-cigarettes and nicotine-containing vapor products are used by millions of adults as an alternative to combustible cigarettes, and most vapor products on the market are of high-quality. Nonetheless, no person should:
- misuse or alter a vapor device designed for vaping nicotine-containing products by attempting to vape anything other than an e-liquid designed to be used with that device;
- use any products other than those purchased from a reputable establishment; and
- use a vapor product offered to them by someone else without knowing precisely what they are consuming.
FDA has imposed regulatory requirements on nicotine-containing vapor products for more than three years, since August 8, 2016, including strict labeling and packaging restrictions that require vapor companies to, among other requirements, disclose all of the ingredients in the products sold.
In stark contrast, none of the products designed for THC, cannabis and any other non-nicotine substances are regulated by the FDA.
Importantly, major medical groups and governments have conclusively determined that vapor products are 95% safer than combustible cigarettes, and studies have shown that they are nearly twice as effective at helping adults quit smoking than traditional methods.