The lung problems of more than a thousand individuals hospitalised and the confirmed deaths in the United States allegedly connected to the use of vaping products as reported in the news a few years ago may raise concerns for vapers who are looking into a vape safety checklist. However, health officials especially in the UK have said that vapers are safe to use vaping products that have been regulated. It is said that the vaping scenario in the US is different from other countries.
The U.S. news
In September 2019, the vaping industry around the world was shocked to hear the news about the more than 450 lung problem cases reported in the US allegedly due to vaping. There were also at least five confirmed deaths across the country. By October 2019, there were more than 1,000 lung disease cases and at least 30 deaths.
Upon investigation, however, it was concluded that some individuals appear to have procured their vaping products from informal sources.
More specifically, America’s health and food agencies discovered that there was no specific substance or any device that connects to all the cases. Furthermore, it’s discovered that in around 80% of the cases, liquids with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoid products were used. THC uses Vitamin E acetate oil as an additive. According to the CDC, this acetate is generally safe when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied on the skin, but may be harmful to the lungs when inhaled.
It should be noted that THC remains illegal in some US states, but unofficial markets could sell unregulated vape products which can contain cannabis and/or other illicit substances.
Health officials in the UK has clarified that it’s safe for British vapers to use regulated vaping products because unlike the US, the UK has the following regulations:
- Nicotine-loaded vaping products in the UK are highly regulated by health agencies for safety and quality; and
- Cannabis, cannabis derivatives and Vitamin E acetate oil are prohibited substances in vaping products in the UK.
Vaping regulations in Australia
Currently, there are no existing regulations specifically on e-cigarettes in Australia but the government is actively developing one. Moreover, the health department classifies nicotine as a poison except for those in cigarettes and replacement therapies. Furthermore, in certain cases, e-cigarettes are covered in various laws pertaining to the regulation of tobacco control, poisons and therapeutic goods.
E-cigarettes are to be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration before being sold. State and territory legislations often have different rules related to the sale, purchase and use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. These local regulations often conflict with those implemented by other states or territories, so make sure to know the legalities before vaping in a certain area.
In October 2021, a tighter Australian law was implemented, making it illegal to purchase nicotine vaping products, including nicotine-loaded eliquids, pods and ecigarettes, from overseas and locally without a doctor’s prescription. Previously, individuals were permitted to import as much as three months’ worth of nicotine products into Australia.
Vaping regulations in New Zealand
E-cigarettes as well as nicotine vaping products have been legalised in New Zealand. These products, along with smokeless tobacco products, are regulated under the country’s Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990. Manufacturers and importers have to notify the Vaping Regulatory Authority regarding the products to be sold in the country and must comply with applicable product safety requirements. Only notified products are allowed to be sold by retailers and vape shops.
Explore our blog further to learn more about vape safety checklist and other discussions related to vaping.