Friday 4 October 2019

Mysterious vaping illness - latest

It's been over a month and there is still no sign of the USA coming to its senses about the 'mysterious vaping-related disease'. The media reporting has been generally abysmal, but the response of politicians and health agencies has been nothing short of reprehensible.

Here is the latest advert from the Illinois Department of Public Health, for example...

From the very outset, all the evidence pointed to cannabis oil cartridges being the problem. A strong warning about these products, particularly the black market variety, might have prevented the outbreak of death and disease continuing. We're up to a thousand hospitalisations now.

It is clear that these products are everywhere. As the New York Times reported yesterday...

.. As health officials grapple with a public health crisis they are struggling to understand, police departments are in the midst of a swift crackdown on vaping products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. In the Phoenix area, the authorities recently raided three homes over eight days, seizing hundreds of THC cartridges at each. In Wisconsin, detectives arrested two young brothers accused of running a large-scale THC cartridge assembly operation inside a condo. And in Nebraska, sheriff’s deputies found a stash of cartridges in a car parked at a truck stop. 

.. The effort to crack down on illicit vaping products has been laden with complications. The police say they have been stunned by the growth in popularity and variety of vaping devices. Enforcement can be difficult because vaping THC is not accompanied by the distinctive — and often incriminating — smell of marijuana. And police officers have had to learn the difference between vaping cartridges for THC, which are illegal for recreational use in most states, and devices for vaping nicotine, which are legally sold at many drugstores and gas stations.

If only the media learned the difference. Last week, Ben Camerillo was hospitalised with acute lung pain after suffering the 'mysterious vaping-related illness'. The television news reported that he has PTSD and used 'both THC and flavored vaping products'. The news item ended with the words 'if you are vaping you need to stop.'

But as Camerillo explains in the video below, he has only ever vaped cannabis/THC oil. He has never smoked and never used nicotine e-cigarettes.

Interestingly, he says that he bought THC carts from (legal) dispensaries, so the most sensible public health message is: avoid vaping cannabis oil while scientists figure out what exactly is going on.

Instead, mendacious politicians have been ordering vape shops to pull their flavoured vape fluids off the shelves, thereby greatly expanding the black market. Look at the state of this...

Also of interest is the video from TRT in which Robert West, Deborah Arnott and Sarah Jakes discuss the attempt by 'public health' dinosaurs like Simon Capewell and Martin McKee to import the US vape panic to the UK. A man who died nine years ago after switching from cigarettes to vaping is being held up as the UK's first and only 'vaping-related' death.

The Sunday Times recently claimed that there have been 200 cases of 'health problems linked to vaping' since 2014. But, as Arnott points out below (17 minutes), the MHRA is obliged to make a note of any complaint related to any of the products it regulates, of which only 74 have actually mentioned vaping. None of them has been proven.

Anti-vaping crusaders in the UK know that this is the chance they have been waiting for. We shall see if they have anything else up their sleeve.

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