The Truth Behind Recent Lung Illness Outbreak: Is vaping to blame?

The Truth Behind Recent Lung Illness Outbreak: Is vaping to blame?

ALEX ZEIG61 comments

You’ve probably heard the news about what’s being called a “crisis” around vaping and the potentially harmful effects of vaping. It’s escalated to a point where even the president is considering taking action around restricting access to vape juices. If you vape, then you may have felt a little anxiety over what might be one of your favorite little hobbies. That’s understandable, but it’s important to make sure you have all the facts so you can make a smart choice and calculate risk as accurately as you can.

With that in mind, let’s go over a few things you should know going forward as a vaper, because the problem may be more avoidable than the media is implying at this point. Here are a few points you should understand as a vaper.


Never buy black market

One of the biggest advantages to buying directly from a retailer is that you get much more insight into how the product was made. A bootleg vape juice that came from an unlicensed extractor could be filled with all kinds of harmful chemicals. That’s where many of those afflicted with this lung disease have gotten their vape juice, which is part of why it’s so difficult to figure out what is causing this illness: we don’t know exactly what these people have consumed.


Everything you find here at VaporDNA is going to be directly from reputable brands you can trust for quality and safety. You can’t say that for certain about anything that’s homemade. Protect yourself and shop at only legitimate storefronts.


Because of the legal gray area that cannabis resides in the United States, you’re much more likely to find THC vape juices on the black market than you are nicotine products. This means that black market buyers have no insight to the quality of the extraction or the starting material that was extracted. With no regulations to ensure this quality, it’s much easier for moldy cannabis or the use of dangerous pesticides that end up in the final product. This can leave behind harmful chemicals that lead to the kind of illness we’re seeing reported now.


And, again, because of this legal gray area, people are less likely to tell their doctors that they are using a chemical that’s illegal in their state. This misinforms medical professionals and it makes vaporizing the easy scapegoat for what is likely due to a much more specific issue with the extraction of the e-juice.

Only vaporize safe compounds

While vaporizing itself is safe, it all comes down to what chemicals are being vaporized in this context. The nicotine and CBD vapes you find here are going to be safe for vaporizing. Problems start to arise when people vape things like THC or vitamin E acetate. These compounds can be extremely volatile when exposed to the high temperatures it requires to properly vaporize an e-juice, which can cause the issues you’re seeing reported in the news lately.

 Not all vape juices are made equal. Some manufacturers are going to cut some corners to save on the cost of making these devices. Sometimes that means using a cheaper metal that doesn’t respond well to high heat. Some of these metals can give off small amounts of toxic vapor that can be harmful to the lungs. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend a bit more for higher quality devices and components not just for a better vaping experience, but for your own health.

There is also cause for concern around the cutting agents manufacturers use to make their product vapable in the first place. Most people are aware of the PG/VG balance that every vape juice is going to create. These chemicals, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, are safe to consume. These are not the only cutting agents that manufacturers can use, however, even if that’s how it should be done. Now more than ever, it’s important that these other chemicals get tested for their safety to humans when vaporized, and that any unsafe compounds be regulated appropriately in the future.


Always ask questions

Whether you’re shopping here at VaporDNA or at your local vape shop down the block, never be afraid to get all the information you need. The person behind the counter is there to answer your questions, as does our customer service department. If you’re unsure about a certain cutting agent or what metal a certain device is made with, there’s no harm in just asking the question to either set your mind at ease or purchase a different device.


Don’t vape with a known lung condition

Some of the victims of this lung disease already had a condition that was compounded by their vaping habit. Quite simply, this was a bad idea from the start. If you know your lungs are already in a fragile or weakened state, whether it be from an illness or an injury, you absolutely should not be vaporizing in the first place.


Still better than smoking

While there are a number of problems to iron out in the recent surge in vaporizing across the world, it’s important to remember that as recently as this year, studies have shown that vaporizing is up to 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco. And, in fact, vaporizing your nicotine has become an effective way for people to get away from smoking. So, while the recent findings are worth looking into and responding to, it’s still a bad idea to go back to smoking and all the toxins and tar that comes along with it. Whether you choose to keep vaping or not, stay away from cigarettes.


The blame game is likely going to continue moving in circles for the next few months, but we believe it’s important to consider all the facts and decide what you should really be afraid of. The vape industry is likely to see some changes in the near future, we just hope that those changes come from a perspective that’s considering all the relevant information.



Comments (61)

Joseph McKeon

I started smoking at age 15 and smoked for 43 years and have vaped for nearly 10 years. It would be a huge mistake to ban flavors. When I smoked we had to nasty choices, menthol or tobacco. Since both of these choices are terrible, vaping chose to add flavors to the liquids. This make quitting tobacco much easier. I tried to quit with the nicotine gum and the patch and neither worked in the long run. Please don’t go ahead with the ban as it would kill a tremendous industry which would close countless vape shops and vape vendors. All of which are legal and have been through much scrutiny and has done all which was asked via the FDA. So your alternative is to force us to vape tobacco or menthol tobacco flavors?? Will this stop minors who can’t buy legally to vape the same. The youth will obviously go back to cigarettes as well as adults who vape. We know tobacco kills to many now, so why add to that?? Please reconsider!!

Suzanna Cox

I think that a ban on flavored vape would be a huge mistake. I began smoking cigarettes at age 16 and smoked for 20 years. I tried multiple times and different methods to quit. Nothing worked. Until, six years ago, my husband suggested that we try e-cigarettes. He had been a smoker since childhood, over 30 years. We tried grape and watermelon flavors. Within a week we had both given up cigarettes!! Neither of us have picked up a cigarette since. We actually got rid of a partial pack of un smoked cigarettes. Vaping works. I stand behind vaping products 100% when they are purchased from a legitimate retailer. Banning flavored vape products would open up a huge black market of unsafe products and cause many people to continue smoking cigarettes. I owe my health and most likely my life to flavored e-cigarettes. I no longer wake up coughing, I no longer suffer from shortness of breath, I no longer get bronchitis every winter. I never, ever want to smoke cigarettes again!! I am very thankful for flavored vaping products and desperately hope that they remain available for adults who want to kick the cigarette habit!!


I have been vaping for 4 years now. I was smoking almost 2 packs a day and had been smoking for 26 years. I tried multiple times with patches and gum they did not work

Derek Hendriksen

I was a able to finally quit smoking almost 7 years ago thanks to vaping. I smoked for 17 years and started when I was only 13 years old. I tried dozens of times to quit with available methods throughout the years and even after my mother developed oral cancer I was still unable to quit. One day I walked into a vape shop and bought a mod and cotton candy 24mg juice and never looked back. My mother ultimately ended up developing lung cancer in 2016 and wound up passing away a week after her diagnosis. She was my best friend, a teacher and my hero. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my family and nobody should have to go through that. I believe flavor bans will unfortunately cause this same outcome for millions of people and their families because so many will keep smoking. Smoking kills. No if’s and’s or but’s about it. Vaping has been a miracle for me and millions of others unable to quit smoking, and flavored liquids keep us from going back.

D Scott Dolan

I am 62 years old and smoked cigars for over 30 years. 5 years ago a friend suggested vaping. Being a lawyer, I wanted to research the industry first. I read the reports from the British Institute of Health, which to date has done the most extensive research on vaping. It finds vaping 95% more healthy than tobacco. I switched, and have not had any tobacco products in 5 years. This proposed legislation will damage an industry that offers the best hope against tobacco. It is not only short sighted but will literally cost lives. I urge all of us to contact your state and federal legislators and make your opinions known.


I stupidly started smoking at 14 despite being surrounded by cancer and death from an early age. I’ve struggled to quit for the last decade using every available NRT product and also tried hypnosis. If only my grandpa had been around to try vaping. I know he’d be alive today. I love you pepere.

Amanda Gomez

I quit smoking a year and a half ago thanks to vaping. I’m 34 now and I was smoking a pack and a half a day. I’ve never felt better and it feels good to be able to run around with my kiddos without running out of breathe or feeling like I’m gonna pass out. I’ve gotten rid of the smokers cough and no longer feel like I’m going to cough up a lung.Vaping has seriously saved my life and if it wasnt for the flavored juice I probably would still be smoking because I tried the tobacco flavors and they didnt help.

Eric Sievers

I was a Marlboro smoker for 30 years. When I discovered vaping back in November 2010 I did a lot of research and bought my first ecig in December that year. It was one of those cigalike ones. I loved the flavor. That was key! I quit that day! Before I quit smoking I had developed a lot of smoking illnesses. Coughing, getting out of breath, wheezing in bed at night, etc. As I vaped for about 30 days all my smoking illnesses faded away. Things started tasting better, things smelled better and I could Breath! It’s been almost 10 years now and I have never felt better. Vaping was the ONLY way I was able to quit smoking. I tried just about everything out there and nothing worked… except Vaping

Ronald Duchatelier

This October will be 2 years that I started vaping and stopped smoking cigarettes. I tried to stop cold turkey on many occasions but I found myself back smoking again. It was a friend of mine who is a vapor, told me about it and how it help him. So I decided to try it for myself. I found myself liking it and spearmint e-liquid was the liquid that help me to stay away from smoking. I thank my friend till this day for him helping me to live a healthier lifestyle!

Bruce Blevins

Vaping – safer, LEGAL, e-cig Vaping SAVES LIVES! It saved mine, my sister and countless friends. It allowed a friend of mine who was dying from COPD to live longer and enjoy a better quality of live in his last two or three years. Once he made the switch, he stopped going to the hospital every couple of weeks. In ten years of vaping, I have not heard a single case of death attributed to it. We know and YOU KNOW it was black market poison THC that caused these issues and not flavored nicotine vaping. Teen vaping of any kind is illegal. Enforce the law. You’re only going to move flavors to the black market, which is the cause of the “crisis”, or send people back to cigarettes.
I don’t know how you can stand there and refer to it as a “gateway to smoking” as justification for your actions and then fail to act on smoking instead… well, actually, yes I do… But that statement alone contradicts your position. Vaping is a solution, not a problem. To bring down an industry and promote putting countless lives in danger of underground markets and a return to burning tobacco because a bunch of kids want to get high is insanity – and the kids will still get high. Does this country EVER think about enforcing laws we already have???

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