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In the last few years, we have observed a significant spike in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. By 2011, an estimated seven million people used e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Seven years later, the figure increased to an alarming 41 million.

Experts have previously provided evidence that the use of these products may lead to damaging effects in the lungs. Many of these studies have focused on the combination of marijuana and e-cigarettes. Yet, a recent study now seems to question these results. While this brings controversy to the topic, it is still important not to dismiss current evidence that has been presented.

EVALI Rates Not Associated with Increase in Marijuana and E-Cigarette Use, According to a Recent Study

In August 2020, the Yale School of Public Health published a scientific research paper, advising that the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana might not be linked to recent spikes in lung injuries related to vaping.

In a previous report, it was announced that an outbreak of lung injuries related to the use of vaping products and e-cigarettes were noticed among citizens of the United States. These injuries were officially termed EVALI, also known as an e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injuries.

The idea behind the new study was to test the relationship held between the rates of EVALI and the reported sale of e-cigarettes, along with the use of cannabis products. Data was collected from the health departments of the United States. The research team was able to accumulate data from patients throughout the 50 states of the country.

The following data were taken into consideration:

  • The prevalence of reported EVALI cases in each state. A focus was placed on citizens aged between 12 and 64. According to studies, this was the primary age group for these cases.
  • Prediction rates were used for the use of cannabis and e-cigarettes. Past month use statistics were used for the comparison.

Researchers found that there was a high prevalence of EVALI cases in seven particular states. These states were primarily located within the Northern Midwest region of the United States.

Surprisingly, these states have not had recent movements to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. The use of cannabis products, as well as e-cigarettes, were lower in these states when compared to other regions of the country.

The study concluded that opposite effects were found compared to the initial reporting of cannabis and e-cigarette use, driving the higher prevalence of EVALI cases throughout the United States.

Does This Mean E-Cigarettes and Vaping Are Safe?

The announcements made by this new study seems to suggest that the risks are not as high when it comes to the use of products like cannabis and vaping, or e-cigarettes.

While the findings of the study have raised mixed opinions, we should not overlook the current evidence surrounding the damaging effects that these activities may have on the lungs.

One scientific publication explains that the dangers associated with e-cigarettes are often underestimated. An important fact noted in this paper is the fact that the damaging effects may even be present when liquids used do not contain any nicotine.

The paper explains that glycerol, propylene glycol, and other related additives in these oils may be more damaging to the lungs than many realize.

Early in 2020, a study was published explaining the toxic effects of vaping and related activities on the lungs. In this paper, pulmonary toxicity is noted as a serious concern, which can sometimes lead to irreversible damage in the lungs. The publication focused on providing data related to lung injuries noted among patients who reported using vaping and electronic cigarette products.

Researchers behind the paper note that the CDC declared Vitamin E acetate, also known as VEA, to be a concerning factor in products that are vaporized or used in an e-cigarette device.

Conclusion

Recent evidence surfaced regarding the potential risk of EVALI associated with the use of cannabis, e-cigarettes, and vaping. Researchers have found the data released by the CDC regarding the outbreak of EVALI cases may not be as accurate as reported. While an opposite effect was noted, compared to initial reports, there are still dangers associated with the use of these products.

References

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.15235

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6114529/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971159/

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