US Vaping-Related Illnesses: Our Response

Alongside our colleagues in the worldwide vaping industry, health authorities, the vaping community and impartial observers around the world, the Vapouriz Group has watched with mounting alarm at the spread of misinformation surrounding vaping and e-cigarettes following the tragic outbreak in the US of 1080 confirmed cases of vaping-related illness and reported 18 deaths*.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alongside an FDA criminal investigation and other independent health studies, have identified the root cause of nearly all the cases as illicit, black market products reputed to contain THC – the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Specifically, these products contain Vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent considered harmless as an oral or topical supplement but whose molecular composition is known to cause the symptoms described in the vast majority of cases when inhaled as vapour.

And yet despite these known facts, and those still emerging, the debate that has since consumed politics and the media in the US, one that cries ‘epidemic’ as it promotes a false equivalence between the safe use of regulated e-cigarette and nicotine products and illegal, toxin-containing devices, is deeply troubling. Worse, it poses a very real threat to public health by scaring smokers away from e-cigarettes and a safer alternative to cancer-causing tobacco.

The millions of smokers who have switched from cigarettes to vaping represent an enormously positive public health story that risks being ignored for as long as the media fixates on the side-effects of black-market goods that have compromised the health of an incredibly small fraction of the total vaping population. With falsehoods passed off as facts, informative content swamped by ill-informed clickbait and politicians pandering to panic rather than evidence, it has never been more important for the public to have access to both the truth about vaping and to ethical, reputable suppliers, goods and services.

At Vapouriz, nothing is more important to us than the safety and quality of our devices and e-liquids. As one of the largest e-liquid manufacturers in the UK, all of our liquids are produced in ISO Class 7 certified cleanrooms at our purpose built, state-of-the-art Vapouriz Labs in Guildford, Surrey. Vapouriz e-liquids contain only nicotine, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol, which are all pharmaceutical grade as defined by the European Pharmacopoeia Standard Monograph, and all sourced within the EU.

When it comes to our flavours, we use only food-grade flavourings – also sourced within the EU – which are thermally stable when vapourized. We only work with suppliers who adhere to the rules set out by the Tobacco Products Directive, the regulations introduced by the EU in 2016 to enforce standards and protections for manufacturers and consumers of nicotine products such as e-liquid.

Furthermore, our rigorous standards are not unique to us alone but are a vital feature of the vaping industry across the UK and other EU countries, which is why not a single case of a vaping-related ailment that resembles those currently in the US has been recorded here.

As the USA struggles to come to terms with the results of a lack of measured oversight and enforcement of rules and standards since the emergence of e-cigarettes, the UK and Europe continue to help smokers make the beneficial switch to vaping with the full cooperation of producers and suppliers like Vapouriz. We offer our sympathy to the American victims of illicit, toxic products that harm people and taint the reputation of safe, legitimate vape goods.

Vapouriz stands in solidarity with the hundreds of ethical, hardworking US vape companies whose staff and livelihoods remain vulnerable in the current climate of misinformation and scaremongering.

The only winners from a manufactured mistrust of e-cigarettes are Big Tobacco, not the millions of smokers who could be saved from its deadly effects.

*according to CDC figures as of 10th October 2019