E-cigarettes have been referred to as “tobacco substitutes” for the first time in China. Since 2006, it has entered the European and American markets. Thirteen years later, lung injuries from e-cigarettes surged in the United States, peaking in September of that year.
As of February 18, 2020, 2,807 vaping-related lung injuries, including 68 deaths, have been recorded in the United States. Nearly 80% of the patients are younger than 35.
Vitamin E acetate, which is contained in e-cigarettes, is said to be the main cause of lung damage. The coconut oil and limonene in e-cigarettes also cause e-cigarette lung damage. However, as of September 2021, six cases of e-cigarette lung injury had been reported in Taiwan, ranging in age from 16 to 56, after restrictions were imposed on these substances. The patients had used e-cigarettes for at least half a month.
China’s Taiwan province has drafted a bill to ban e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. Across the sea, Japan has banned e-cigarettes altogether.
Adam, 18, is seen in the intensive care unit on September 4, 2019 in Libertyville, US. After 18 months of vaping, his lungs were the condition of a 70-year-old man
E-cigarettes are not healthier
E-cigarettes. They’re battery-powered cigarettes. It contains a nebulizer and a cartridge containing either nicotine or non-nicotine fluid. When the device is turned on, the battery heats the liquid inside the cartridge and the atomizer atomizes the liquid for the user to inhale.
Many cigarette smokers turned to e-cigarettes to quit smoking. “Quit smoking” was one of the early slogans of e-cigarettes. However, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are healthier than cigarettes, and the World Health Organization says there is “no evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit smoking.” Instead, some people who use e-cigarettes fall into the habit of using both e-cigarettes and cigarettes — which is even more harmful.
More than 15,000 e-cigarette ingredients, including propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine and other chemicals, are known to have been used to make vaping additives. For teens and children, the ingredients in e-cigarettes can damage the brain, with lasting and devastating consequences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that young people not use e-cigarettes, and that adults who do not smoke do not use e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette products with fruity flavors have also been banned in the United States. Because the steam fruity ingredients, when heated, have a greater chance of causing serious lung disease. In addition, e-cigarettes may induce or worsen asthma.
The WHO says there is clear evidence that e-cigarette products are addictive and harmful to health. Like cigarettes, e-cigarettes can cause cancer and put people at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, and lung disease.
Other studies have shown that daily e-cigarette use can change the structure of bacteria in the mouth and cause inflammation, which increases the risk of oral infections and can lead to heart problems.
U.S. officials also warned against adding substances to e-cigarettes themselves, even if purchased through formal channels. There have been cases of death caused by the addition of inhaled ingredients more than ten years ago: in 2011, a public safety incident called “humidifier death” occurred in South Korea, and about 14,000 people died as a result.
The main reason for this incident is that they added fungicides to the humidifier. Among them, the humidifier disinfectant produced by The South Korean branch of The British Reckitt Benckiser Group contains polyhexamethylguanidine hydrochloride, which can cause acute lung disease.
The condition is also known as humidifier fungicide pneumonia. Unlike the digestive system, the lungs do not immediately experience adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting when they inhale unsuitable substances. Symptoms usually occur when the lungs are already damaged, so vigilance is needed.
Things took a turn for the worse in 2019, when there was a massive outbreak of e-cigarette lung injuries in the US.
Ten years of tug-of-war have raised alarm
When e-cigarettes arrived in Europe and the United States, governments everywhere were concerned about their safety. Before 2010, a number of countries banned or restricted e-cigarettes, including Turkey, Austria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, Thailand, Argentina, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.
Mamut Tokac, head of drugs and medicines at Turkey’s Health Ministry, said e-cigarettes are just as harmful as cigarettes. In Hong Kong, the maximum penalty for possessing and selling e-cigarettes is HK $100,000 and two years in prison. Singapore has banned the import and sale of e-cigarettes, with fines of up to $5,000 for violators.
This wave has hit the e-cigarette industry hard. To keep the market, the e-cigarette industry is fighting back as a group. It started in 2009 when e-cigarette distributor Smoking Everywhere (SE) filed a lawsuit in the US, arguing that e-cigarettes were tobacco products and the US government did not have the authority to ban them.
Another e-cigarette oligarch, NJOY (Sottera), joined the SE camp and the alliance was formed. It is a group of e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors and retailers based in Washington. In the same year, the Consumer Support Alliance for Tobacco Alternatives (CASAA) was also established. Its members include consumers and retailers, ostensibly to support and standardize tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes, but actually to advocate for e-cigarettes.
In 2010, CASAA lobbied Illinois legislators not to pass a ban on e-cigarettes. Taking the United States as the basis and the world as the blueprint, the two sides for and against e-cigarettes have been engaged in a tug of war for more than a decade.
The tug of war broke out in three main areas: academia, politics and law, and civil society. In 2011, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, The Journal Addiction, and BMC Public Health published articles suggesting that e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking (though there is no clear evidence that this is the case). This idea has gained popularity and is the biggest selling point of e-cigarettes.
CASAA collects stories of people who have relied on e-cigarettes to quit smoking or reduce their cigarette use, and has set up websites to post personal stories of how e-cigarettes have reduced tobacco harm. That argument won early victories in the years since, when, in an authoritative FDA-funded study, experts commented: “E-cigarettes help public health, at least in the short term.”
Politically and legally, the United Tobacco Steam Group, an e-cigarette coalition, won a legal challenge against the Dutch government’s e-cigarette restrictions in 2012. In 2013, more than 25,000 people petitioned the White House to “stop the FDA from interfering with the sale of e-cigarettes.”
In contrast, the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health has called on the U.S. government to regulate e-cigarettes, and some lawmakers have written to the FDA demanding tighter regulation of cigarettes and e-cigarette products. E-cigarette competitors wrote a joint letter to Obama asking him to urge the FDA to regulate e-cigarette products. Advocates and opponents of e-cigarettes have been wrestling in the United States for more than a decade.
The private e-cigarette consumer community is growing, with organisations such as CASAA and ECCA UK organising global e-cigarette festivals. In 2012, 200 German e-cigarette users took to the streets in support of e-cigarettes.
However, things took a turn for the worse in 2019, when there was a massive outbreak of e-cigarette lung injury in the US. The U.S. government moved quickly to restrict e-cigarette sales. At the top of the list are e-cigarette products that add other flavors. Since then, the U.S. government has increased regulation and regulation of e-cigarette use among young people.
In 2020, who concluded: “E-cigarettes are harmful to health and unsafe. There is not enough evidence to support the claim that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking.” Since then, the dangers of e-cigarettes have raised alarm around the world.