As American’s vaping-related lung sickness, otherwise known as EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) leaves more deaths in its wake, one institution is making massive strides in getting to the bottom of the issue. With 64 deaths confirmed in 28 states and a total of 2,758 vapers hospitalised, suffering illnesses predominantly connected to the use of THC and black-market vaping products alongside genuine unregulated CBD products with a high dose of THC, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have spearheaded the response to the issue with level-headed professionalism. So, who are the CDC, what official announcements have they made, and what can we learn about the issue?
Who are the CDC?
First founded in 1946, the CDC evolved from America’s WW2 malaria control program. Now specialising in the spread and control of infectious diseases, the institution has over 15,000 employees; over half of whom possesses specialised master’s degrees or higher. These professionals work together to research and organise responses against infectious diseases, new toxins, noncommunicable diseases, and address global and traveller health. Given the independent nature of the CDC and tireless efforts of its staff, the organisation is considered the gold standard for healthcare intervention. Their teams regularly publish data and statistics and provide fully vetted lists of reliable sources for healthcare advice.
Why have the CDC got involved in vaping?
As soon as multiple medical cases were actively connected to a single product, the CDC engaged with healthcare professional to co-ordinate a response. This saw them released a public statement through their site explicitly detailing what they do and do not know. In summary:
- Their teams have not identified a single cause of the lung disease and the only known factor connecting the cases is their use of vaping products.
- The only way to achieve 100% safety is to abstain from all vaping and smoking products. In doing so, they reinforce that “there is no safe tobacco product” and that all herbal or tobacco adjacent products carry a risk. This makes the situation difficult for adults addicted to nicotine or dependent upon vaping, making it important to consult with your doctor about how best to proceed
- Users should monitor their health carefully if using e cigarettes and monitor the development of symptoms involved with the illness. These include coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps and diarrhoea, and the onset of fever with chills and weight loss.
What should I do?
Although they remain unsure about the specific cause for the condition, the CDC are confident enough to have also released guidance for concerned vapers. These documents are extensively researched and comprehensively critiqued to ensure that no incorrect information is spread to the public, making them perfect sources for those concerned about how they could be personally affected. These explicit guidelines state that vapers should not:
- Use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
- Buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping products, particularly those containing THC, from off the street.
- Modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
While the condition is still confined to the US, following these guidelines is a solid rule of thumb. Especially as any THC devices or infused products are illegal throughout the UK. This makes it more important than ever to search out safe, branded devices and take extra care when checking the composition and quality of your chosen e liquid.
What will the CDC do next?
If you want to follow the developments on the story, the CDC releases plain-language updates every Thursday detailing collated information about their work combatting the illness. If you want to support the CDC’s work throughout the US, Globally and in developing countries, you can learn more about their 4-Star Charity Navigator rated foundation online. Along with this, our regularly updated online blog regularly covers breaking stories from the vaping industry – such as a deep dive into the recent vaping crisis. If you are interested in finding a new device that is designed and developed to the highest possible standards you can view our current vaping device catalogue from here. If you have any questions or queries about our items or range of e liquid flavours, you can contact our team directly and help you find the right, safe product for you.