Sep 3, 2019

Lung illnesses raise vaping concerns

Photo: Lisa Ducret/picture alliance via Getty Images

Most of vaping's negative headlines have been about the rise in teen vaping, but the recent lung illnesses around the country have raised broader questions about its health impact, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The rationale for e-cigarettes is that they're a healthier alternative to cigarettes. But while the health consequences of smoking cigarettes are well-documented, we don't yet know the long-term effect of vaporizing ingredients and then inhaling them.

  • We do know, however, that vaping gone awry can be problematic — for example, if oil droplets get inhaled or if toxic substances are vaped.
  • "Inhaling oil into your lungs is extremely dangerous behavior that could result in death," Thomas Eissenberg, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, told NYT. "That is probably the biggest message we can get out of this."
  • And the rise of vaping coincides with the spreading legalization of marijuana, which can also be vaped.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on Friday to teenagers and other consumers, cautioning them against buying bootlegged and street cannabis or e-cigarette products in the wake of the lung illnesses.

The bottom line: "The outbreaks have created a crisis for two emerging industries — e-cigarettes and legal cannabis — that have pitched themselves as beneficial to public health," NYT writes.

Go deeper... NYT: The Mysterious Vaping Illness That’s ‘Becoming an Epidemic’

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New York wants emergency ban after 64 cases of vaping-related lung illness

Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

The state of New York is pushing for an emergency ban on flavored e-cigarettes, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying “vaping is dangerous."

  • “No one can say long-term use of vaping — where you’re inhaling steam and chemicals deep into your lungs — is healthy," Cuomo said Sunday, per NYT.

The big picture: A number of states — along with the federal government — are rushing to regulate e-cigarettes after a rise in vaping-related lung illnesses that are reported to have killed 6 people and sickened hundreds. Most of the illnesses are believed to be linked to vaping THC, the compound in marijuana that makes people high.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 15, 2019

Massachusetts governor calls for harshest anti-vaping ban in U.S.

Photo: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a statewide public health emergency on Tuesday and called for a 4-month ban on all vaping products, AP reports.

Why it matters: This is the farthest-reaching ban yet by any state, as it is the only restriction in the country that forbids all vaping products. Massachusetts' ban also goes beyond President Trump's proposal to pull all flavored e-cigarette cartridges from the market, leaving just the tobacco flavor, in an effort to discourage youth vaping.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

E-cigarettes embraced in U.K. while U.S. cracks down

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

While the U.S. cracks down on vaping amid a growing number of cases of mysterious lung illnesses, the U.K. has increasingly welcomed and promoted e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking, AP's Maria Cheng reports from London.

The state of play: The Royal College of Physicians has been telling doctors to promote e-cigarettes "as widely as possible" to people trying to quit tobacco. The CDC recommends that cigarette smokers in the U.S. consider finding an alternative besides e-cigarettes — especially those with THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

Go deeperArrowSep 28, 2019