Vitamin E Acetate has been found as the leading culprit of vaping related illnesses. Since 2001, when the United States started keeping data about vaping, 54 people have died from usage, and over 2,500 have gone to the hospital with illnesses directly related to vaping. It is now known that vitamin E, a common additive in THC marijuana pens is the reason for this. Companies that make vapes have been under some intense fire over the past two years by the FDA, as people were going to the hospital and claiming that their nicotine based vapes could have been the reason. Now, it is much more clear that it is the THC based products that are doing the immediate evil.
It had been suspected that vitamin E was the reason for illnesses, yet the world around vaping, especially for teens, is particularly hazy. Since there is such a large stigma surrounding marijuana and THC products, in particular teens, people have not been wholly truthful about accurately reporting their vape usage after falling ill. Teens also have created an aura around the flavors for their vapes, and that they strictly use vapes because they ‘liked the way it tasted.’
In a study of teens using nicotine called the National Youth Nicotine Survey, they asked teens if they had tried vapes, and why they did and why they would continue to do so. The study found that 55% of the study chose to because of curiosity, almost 31% because a family member did, and 22.4% did so for the tasty flavors. Remarkably, there was no option for liking the rush of nicotine to be selected on the survey. To put it as plainly as possible: teens use vapes because they like the way nicotine makes them feel.
THC vaping pens are simply an extension of youths trying substances to experiment with new highs. THC pens can be bought in places where marijuana is legal, yet the cartridges are not regulated by the FDA. The issue stems from how these cartridges are manufactured in different places in the world, and with any drug that is not regulated, there is an inherent risk factor that the drugs could be cut with dangerous substances to save money. If a teen, or person of any age, decides to use a THC cartridge that has not been regulated, it could be cut with harmful vitamin E extracts that should not be inhaled.
Now that knowledge has come to light about the source of the illnesses, a person using a vaping product from a regulated company should not have as much fear for the risks of smoking the vape. However, one should always be careful with what substances they put in their body, and simply put, there is not enough long term data about the effects of vaping. One must be vigilant to look to the news to see how vape users should go about their usage if they choose to do so, with more data surfacing seemingly every week.