Let's be clear, THC vapes or other non-regulated, non water-soluble devices are not classified as "e-cigarettes"
November 21st 2019 7:00pm
Let's be clear, THC vapes or other non-regulated, non water-soluble devices are not classified as "e-cigarettes"

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2019 - The CVA is aware of a disturbing lung illness diagnosis that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on Thursday, November 21. Cases like this are very unsettling, particularly given that it and the other illnesses in the United States are clustered within the last five months. This pattern suggests, and the CMAJ infers, that other substances, such as THC, vitamin E acetate or other non-sanctioned chemicals, have been inappropriately introduced into the product.  As the report suggests, more testing is needed and needed soon.


It is important to take a step back and redefine nicotine e-liquid vaping. This form of vaping is defined as water-soluble nicotine delivery through an electronic device, a process that has been strictly regulated provincially and federally, with no incident of illness for over a decade. The generalization of the terms "vaping" or "e-cigarettes" to include unregulated, black market, including those containing THC, is highly misleading. In the case of THC vape products, vitamin E acetate has been identified as the cause of the lung illness outbreak seen across North America this past summer.


Based on a preliminary review of the CMAJ findings, the CVA urges caution around the premature conclusions stated in the study. The nature of the bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung, diagnosis in the study is merely speculative, and based on a single patient diagnosis. In fact, by the authors' own admission, the study has several limitations. The authors admitted they were unable to pinpoint the causative agent(s) responsible for the patient's pulmonary illness, as he vaped a variety of substances of which more than one may be a causative agent for harm.


"The fact that this new study is based on one case, with several limitations, calls into question the conclusiveness of any of the findings. The distinction between this particular case and the wider EVALI diagnosis doesn't isolate e-liquid nicotine vapes as the causal agent of this particular Ontario teen's symptoms." said Darryl Tempest, Executive Director and Lead Advocate of The Canadian Vaping Association. "In fact, the most significant takeaway from the report is that further testing is needed into the root cause of the Ontario teen's illness, as well as other vaping-related illnesses diagnosed across Canada."


The study also highlights the need for tighter regulation of the vaping industry, including marketing, age-restricted sales and rigorous testing of vape products; the CVA has been vocal in its advocacy with the federal and provincial governments and health agencies for these very measures. It is important that vaping-related regulations are updated on a measured and evidence-based approach.


The federal government is also working on toxicology and emissions testing of vaping products. The CVA supports the development of testing standards to ensure Canadians can continue to have access to this life-saving product, and are protected from black market and oil-based vape products that are extremely dangerous to their health. Approximately 40 million people worldwide have found vaping as the most successful harm reduction alternative to combustible tobacco over the past decade. An outright ban on flavours would drive those who rely on vape products as a harm reduction alternative either to the unregulated and unsafe black market for vaping products or back to combustible tobacco.

The correlation between diacetyl and its formation over time in e-liquids containing acetoin - a flavouring replacement used by the flavouring industry to replace diacetyl and acetyl propionyl - is noted in the CMAJ study. To ensure consumer safety, CVA members ensure that expiry dates are clearly labelled on all product packaging of e-liquids, based on their shelf life of two years. 


About the Canadian Vaping Association

The Canadian Vaping Association (thecva.org) is a registered national, not-for-profit organization, established as the voice for the burgeoning Canadian vaping industry. Founded in 2014, the CVA represents over 300 retail and online vaping businesses in Canada.  Our membership does not include tobacco companies or affiliates. The association is the primary liaison with the federal and provincial governments on all legislative and regulatory issues related to the industry. The primary goal of CVA is to ensure that government regulation is reasonable and practical, through the strategy of professional proactive communication and education supplied bilingually to health officers, media, and elected officials.


For further information: Darryl Tempest, Executive Director, 647-274-1867, [email protected]


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