In the last few months vaping has been a huge topic for a few reasons. One of those reasons is because E-liquid from unknown sources is being vaporized into users lungs, causing them to have lung issues, and be hospitalized. I was part of the generation where e-cigarettes evolved, and I witnessed the movement of high school students getting interested in these devices, and now they are all over the news. I have been around vaping ever since vaping was a thing to do, and I have many friends that are vape users. I think an extremely important factor when it comes to vaping, is knowing what you are consuming into your lungs. This topic definitely needs further exploration, because these devices are still very new and we don’t know a lot about the long term effects yet. Because vaping is a very new technology, this is the first time anyone has heard of large amounts of people being affected by these devices. Different patients have had different problems in their lungs due to vaping, so there is still a wide range of possibilities of what part of vaping is making people ill.
One article I read that included a video, does a very good job of summarizing the activity of these lung illnesses across the United States, and talks about the most recent information we know about these illnesses. The article is called, “Deaths linked to vaping often involved THC products, not nicotine, CDC says “ written on October 28th 2019 by Michael Nedelman. The author talks about the most recent occurrences of these illnesses, and goes over statistics on how many people have reported illness and even death from vaping. The author talks about youth nicotine addiction, and how the majority of people that have had problems with vaping have been youth. The article includes a video about a teenager named Jay Jankins, and his incident with vaping. The young man goes on tell tell his story about how if he had not gotten to the hospital when he did, he could have lost his life. He talks about how the product he vaped was an over-the-counter CBD oil called YOLO Oil, and later on scientists look into the substance, and find that there was actually no CBD to be found in the liquid. The video goes on to talk about the FDA involvement, and gives warnings to the public, that this would be a good time to take a break from vaping until further research is done. If there is one thing you take home today from my paper it is this; if you are going to take part in vaping of any kind, please do research into what you are injusting into your system, know what it is, where it comes from, and buy it at a smoke/vape shop because it can damage your lungs, put you in the hospital, or even kill you if it is not what the label says.
If you take part in vaping, and plan to buy your own device and juice, do some research into what chemicals vape juice is made up of. This is important because anyone that vapes should know what they are vaping, and also know what chemicals to look for in a vape juice. Vape juice consists of two major chemicals, Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene glycol (PG). The VG PG mix is normally mixed with water, nicotine, and flavoring. Nicotine raises blood pressure, and stimulates the central nervous system. In an article written by Rebecca Kishlock, titled E-Liquid Ingredients: You May Not Know What You’re Vaping, she states “ When nicotine enters the brain, it releases a feeling of pleasure as dopamine levels increase. Makers tend to offer their products in varying ranges of nicotine content, ranging from none to 36 milligrams per milliliter “(Kishlock, Rebbeca). This is something to consider when looking at vape juice. Although nicotine is not the chemical that is sending people to the hospital, it is still important to understand the role nicotine plays and vaping, and to be aware of how much nicotine is in vape juice. Being someone that used to vape, I know there is tone of different nicotine levels in vape juice, and that when someone is buying vape juice with nicotine, they should know how much is a good amount for them, because if someone gets a juice with very high nicotine level, and they are used to low levels, they could experience nicotine poisoning, and could risk going to the hospital. As of right now there are two types of nicotine used in vape juice. There is freebase nicotine, and salt nicotine. The majority of vape juice for standard vapes is freebase nicotine, but in the last ten years, salt nicotine has been striving for a few reasons. Salt nicotine is nicotine that is compacted into crystals, so it produces a smoother throat hit. Alvaro Jimenez, a vape enthusiast that works for Solifexo Company states, “ One noticeable difference is the harshness induced by higher nicotine levels. Freebase nicotine has a higher pH level which affects the alkalinity. What this does is that it makes freebase e-liquid taste harsher as you climb the nicotine ladder. Whereas, salt nicotine have a lower alkalinity due to the benzoic acid which gives you a reportedly smoother throat hit and makes vaping at 50 mg nicotine bearable. ” (Jimenez, Alvaro). Because of the differences between freebase nicotine and salt nicotine, they require different kinds of vapes to be used. It is important to understand the difference, so you don’t use the wrong device with the wrong liquid. The next ingredient in vape juice is the flavoring. The flavoring is normally cherry or strawberry or something fruit oriented. There are also vape juices made with non fruit flavoring like tobacco or cinnamon. Propylene glycol is a chemical created in a lab, that the FDA labels it to safe to use in food, drugs, and cosmetics. It is also vaporized for use in performances, and for special fog effects. Vegetable glycerin is a colorless liquid that has a sweet taste to it. The FDA also labels this chemical generally safe. What the FDA doesn’t state is whether these chemicals are safe to be vaporized, and injected into your lungs. This information is important to vape users because If you are vaping you should know which chemicals you are injusting, and know what juices to buy. Which leads to the next issue I would like to address; know where to buy vape juice so you don’t buy an unsafe substance.
It is extremely important to buy your vape juice in a smoke/vape shop rather than a corner store or convenient market because at those general stores, no one really knows what chemicals are in the substances because they are shipped from foreign countries. The safest way to purchase vape juice is at a local vape store, and manufactured by a local company. Riley Miller, a vaping enthusiast at California State University, Los Angeles talks about buying vape juices and says “ Do not buy vape juices from untrusted brands. Unregulated e juice could be cheap, but you never know what chemicals they are using. Trusted brands do not hesitate to disclose e juice ingredients. Send a mail to the manufacturer if you would like to be sure of what you are vaping. “ (Miller, Riley). Researching brands and looking for ingredients is the best way to be sure that what you are ingesting is truly safe. When it comes to safety, and finding a safe reliable source, you may have to spend a little extra on good quality vape juices, but it is better to get something safe rather than buying the bang for the buck, and taking a risk of ending up in the hospital.
Many people are unaware of how dangerous it is to purchase vape juice from unknown sources, because it is not talked about enough in the vaping community. Vapes and vape juices started getting extremely popular when I was finishing junior high and starting high school. Many students at the time were ordering mass amounts of products from international websites such as stockX and Ebay. There are thousands of vapes and juices on these sites, and the majority of them are not labeled,and there is no way to check the ingredients or anything. This is a huge problem, because if your vaping, you need to be aware of what products to look for, and what to stay away from. There is nothing wrong with ordering vape juice online, just be sure to order it from a reliable company that offers lists of ingredients and chemicals, so you are aware of what you are injusting into your lungs. In an article by Michael Blaha, director of clinical research and professor of medicine at John Hopkins Medicine talks about lung illness cases, and says, “ These cases appear to predominantly affect people who modify their vaping devices or use black market modified e-liquids ” (Blaha, Michael). The best thing to do is take consideration of this if you take part in vaping, and don’t put your lungs at risk by buying black market vape products.
In conclusion, there are a few aspects from this paper that I hope my readers can take away, and spread the word about. If you or someone you know take part in vaping, please help them understand the importance of doing research into what you are injusting into your system, know what it is, where it comes from, and buy it at a smoke/vape shop because it can damage your lungs, put you in the hospital, or even kill you if it is not what the label says. There have been issues of illness and even deaths related to vaping all over the world recently, so this is a current event, and something to be aware of. Please be careful when vaping, and get reliable products from reliable brands that are open to releasing the ingredients of their vape juices. I hope my readers have learned a lot about the health issues surrounding vaping, and have enough information to vape safe, and understanding the risks of buying bad quality vape juice, or black market vape juice. If you have to take part in vaping, please take precautions, and don’t take shortcuts while purchasing vape equipment. The better quality products may cost a little more money, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Blaha, Michael. “What Pharmacists Need to Know about Vaping and Vaping-Related Lung Illness.” Pharmacy Today, vol. 25, no. 11, 2019, p. 27., doi:10.1016/j.ptdy.2019.10.013.
Jimenez, Alvaro. “Http://www.Historystudies.net/dergi//birinci-Dunya-Savasinda-Bir-Asayis-Sorunu-Sebinkarahisar-Ermeni-isyani20181092a4a8f.Pdf.” History Studies International Journal of History, vol. 10, no. 7, 2018, pp. 241–264., doi:10.9737/hist.2018.658.
Kishlock, Rebecca. “Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” E-Liquid Ingredients, doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.
Miller, Riley. “Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” Whats The Safest Kind Of Vape Juice, doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.
Nedelman, Michael. “Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.