There was a time when glossy magazine ads touted the supposed health benefits of cigarette smoking. For years, mainstream media and public officials routinely aided and abetted the false claims of the tobacco industry until the publication of the U.S. Surgeon General’s 1964 report on Smoking and Health. Cigarette commercials were subsequently banned from television, but tobacco products were never outlawed.
More than a half century later, the nicotine capitalists are at it again. This time they’ve been claiming that highly addictive e-cigarettes are safer than smoking. And until now they’ve gotten a free pass from industry-friendly “regulators” who don’t seem to give a hoot about all the toxic crap – especially texturizing and flavoring agents – that’s added to e-cig juice. Aimed at teens as well as adults, Juul ads were extolling the virtues of vaping on national television at the very moment the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an alarming report that attributed a sudden outbreak of deaths and pulmonary disease to the consumption of harmful vaping products.
Over 500 people, including teenagers and seniors, have been hospitalized with problems ranging from shortness of breath to severe nausea and coughing up blood. Nine deaths have been reported thus far. The likely cause is “unknown chemical exposure,” according to the CDC, which has not been able to conclusively link a single product or substance to vaping disease incidents. Any number of questionable chemical combinations could be the culprit.
Of those who were stricken by vaping-related lung disease, some had been using only nicotine e-cigarettes. But most cases have involved people who vaped poor quality, unlicensed cannabis oil products. Many of the same sketchy additives that are ubiquitous in e-cigarettes are present in cannabis and CBD vape oil blends. CBD vapes can easily be purchased from head shops, gas stations, internet storefronts, and an assortment of less-than-savory underground sources.
Some black market vape oil products are also spiked with potent synthetic intoxicants (erroneously described as “synthetic marijuana”) and other dubious compounds, such as vitamin E acetate.