Illinois’ Heartland Institute: Mystery vaping illnesses ‘likely linked to Black Markets’
During August 2019, public health officials from multiple states across the nation are reporting a rise in young people being diagnosed with different forms of lung disorders allegedly caused by vaping. CNN picked up the story and ran an on-air report claiming that more than 120 cases had occurred across some 15 states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued a press release around the same time announcing an investigation into a total of 153 cases across 16 states.
The news only got worse when news organizations began reporting that the death of an unnamed male patient in Illinois may be the first-ever vaping related death in America’s history. However, no such stories of mysterious lung ailments suddenly sprouting up out of thin air are currently being reported by members of the international press.
As the fear and panic began escalating across social media in America, many vapers began to wonder. If vaping is so bad, should smokers trying to quit simply give up and go back to Big Tobacco products?
Heartland Institute located in same state as ‘death linked to vaping’
The Heartland Institute cautions average citizens reading these horrendous headlines to avoid instantly jumping to unfounded conclusions. According to the organization’s state government relations manager Lindsey Stroud, the “vaping-related hospitalizations are likely linked to illegal, black market vaping products.”
“Although young Americans are being hospitalized after using so-called vaping devices, they are actually using black market products that are not regulated and contain countless unknown chemicals. Indeed, none of the health departments have identified a single legal, regulated vaping product that could be causing adverse health effects. However, Wisconsin DHS did note the likely substances causing the hospitalizations include “nicotine, [tetrahydrocannabinol] THC, synthetic cannabinoids, or a combination” of these illicit substances.”
Ms. Stroud also discusses other previous occurrences of teenagers being hospitalized for vaping illegal or restricted substances – substances other than conventional e-liquids manufactured under strict industry standards. In January 2019, three teens in the neighboring state of Indiana were hospitalized after using “THC vape pens that were laced with an unknown substance.” Also that same month, another six youngsters from New Mexico won a trip to the hospital “after vaping marijuana wax.” According to Ms. Stroud, Black Market cannabis products are essentially running rampant among the youth culture worldwide.
“The black market for THC-related vaping products is thriving, which makes it difficult for regulators to address. For example, anyone can buy empty boxes of a popular marijuana vape brand on Amazon and eBay. Further, empty cartridges, which can be filled with any illicit substance, are widely available. YouTube even offers video tutorials on how to make THC oil that can be used in a vaping device.”
What many average Americans do not know is that the e-liquids used in vapor products are already highly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Even though confusion still exists over the moving target of a deadline for the Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process, vape juice manufacturers have been required to submit ingredients listings to the FDA since November 8 of last year. The FDA knows what’s in these e-juices, and it’s very unlikely that the vapor products contributed in any way to this weird surge in alleged lung disorders.
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