[UPDATE – 09.07.19 – Updated for clarity and to include the recent FDA Warning to Consumers.]
Consumer Advisory: If your trust in nicotine vaping is lost, seek out other smoke-free alternatives BEFORE returning to smoking.
PEOPLE WHO SMOKE CAN IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH BY SWITCHING TO SMOKE-FREE ALTERNATIVES.
CASAA acknowledges that many people who vape nicotine or who are considering switching from combustible tobacco to a vapor product are frightened by the seemingly endless headlines conflating the risks of illicit oil-based cannabis products with nicotine vaping. In the absence of clear advisories from health officials, many people who vape and people who are considering switching to vapor products–away from smoking–might be losing trust in the nicotine vapor market and the products being sold.
Consistent with our mission, we are advising anyone who has concerns about the safety of nicotine vaping products to consider other smoke-free options before returning to combustible tobacco use. Smokeless nicotine products such as snus, moist snuff (dip), nicotine pouches, and nicotine toothpicks are vastly safer alternatives to smoking and are readily available online and at most retailers where tobacco products are sold.
For more information on smokeless tobacco as a safer alternative to smoking, please visit CASAA’s website.
PLEASE DO NOT RETURN TO SMOKING.
[Update] Friday evening, (09/06/19) the FDA released a warning that clearly and directly provides information to consumers about the coordinated investigation into lung illnesses being attributed to vaping. This warning echoes CASAA’s messages to our members in the prior weeks: If you are going to use THC-containing vapor products, purchase them from reputable sources and avoid products purchased “on the street.”
[Update for clarity] By way of background, on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) held a press briefing to update the media about investigations into a sudden acute respiratory syndrome that is being linked to vaporizing products containing an unknown contaminant or additive. The number of people affected by the lung illness is reported to be 450, including three deaths in IL, OR, and IN. (At the time of this posting, two more deaths in L.A. County, CA and Minnesota are being reported.)
While federal officials are unable to point to a specific brand or contaminant in the samples they’ve received so far, reports from health departments in CA, NM, NY, PA, UT, and WI link the lung illness to unlicensed THC oil. To date, the tragic death in Oregon is the only case where a THC cartridge was purchased from a licensed retailer.
To date, none of the cases of lung illness are being linked to a legal, commercially available nicotine vapor product. Moreover, according to an article in the New York Times, “Public health officials have underscored one fundamental point: that the surge in illnesses is a new phenomenon and not merely a recognition of a syndrome that may have been developing for years.” In other words, these cases of lung illness are unlikely to be a result of long-term use of vapor products–nicotine or THC.
CONSIDER MULTIPLE STRATEGIES.
In addition to other smoke-free nicotine and tobacco products, people who vape may want to consider using over-the-counter nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum or lozenges. While these products are certainly not a replacement for vaping (or even a very effective smoking cessation strategy), they are a viable and safer source of nicotine compared to combustible tobacco.