KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 – As US officials announce at least five deaths and 450 possible cases of severe respiratory illness due to vaping, UK health experts have reassured British vapers that the habit is safe in the country.
Health officials in the US have reportedly said e-cigarette users experienced symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
The Guardian reported that the outbreak has caused UK vapers to fear that they could also be affected by the illness.
Putting the fear to rest, Martin Dockrell, head of Tobacco Control at Public Health England, drew a distinction between vaping in the US and the UK, saying that reports suggested that most cases in the US had been linked to people using illicit vaping fluid, bought on the streets or homemade, some containing cannabis products, like THC, or synthetic cannabinoids, like spice.
“Unlike the US, all e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and they operate the yellow card scheme, encouraging vapers to report any bad experiences,” he was quoted saying.
Edinburgh University public health expert Prof Linda Bauld reportedly said it appeared highly unlikely that nicotine-containing vaping products, particularly the type regulated in Europe, were causing the mysterious lung disease.
“All the evidence to date suggests that illicit marijuana vaping products (THC oils) are the cause. In particular, a compound called tocopherol acetate may be the culprit,” Prof Linda Bauld, a public health expert at Edinburgh University, was quoted saying.