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PCRS continues to support e-cigarettes following US vaping deaths


PCRS has reiterated its support for the use of e-cigarettes as part of a treatment plan for treating tobacco dependency following reports of vaping deaths in the USA.

A full investigation is not yet available but indications from the USA CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are that these cases have been linked to people using illicit vaping fluid either bought on the streets or homemade, some containing cannabis products or synthetic cannabinoids like Spice, and others Vitamin E acetate oil.

Noel Baxter, PCRS Policy Lead, says the situation cannot be compared to the UK where vaping devices and liquids are tightly regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  The liquid constituents in the e-cigarettes involved in the US deaths are not permitted here.

He explains: “These events may have been caused by high concentration cannabinoid chemicals in the vape liquid. This of course does not prevent the purchase or home making of non-regulated products as illegal markets do exist.

“In the UK among a vaping population that stands at 3.6 million there are only two known cases of lipoid pneumonia, the clinical phenomenon being linked to vaping. Any clinician should be using the Yellow Card scheme to report any regulated product they think is causing harm. (You can check if a product is regulated on the MHRA website). As with illegal tobacco, our trading standards officers in local authorities should be notified if clinicians have any concerns about providers of e-cigarette products their area.”

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