I’m sure this post will get some flames, but I need to rant a little bit anyway, so here goes…
I guess I’m just a little surprised and disappointed that the Harvard report on DI/AP has taken so many people by surprise when it’s been a known issue for so long now and discussed at length in so many different forums.
The biggest thing I’m hearing is… well, we don’t watch those shows, or follow the forums and the online community, so we didn’t know.
Sorry to be harsh here, but IMHO – Ignorance is no excuse. You’re putting this stuff into your body. You don’t have the due diligence to research it and know what’s going on with it? Be adult and take some responsibility.
When I THOUGHT about vaping back in 2009 I researched the piss out of it, learning everything I could before trying it. At least what was available back then. There is far more research and resources available for you today.
What are my own feelings on the DI/AP issue? Am I even educated on the subject enough to comment? Maybe not, but I’m going to anyway. I’ve also tried to gather some links to information and invite you to make up your own mind.
From a high level, it’s very simple… If it’s an avoidable risk, let’s avoid it. Might as well do it ourselves before someone tells us to.
- Do I think it’s being blown WAY out of proportion? Yes I do.
- Do I think vaping is far safer than smoking? Yes I do.
- Even with the DI/AP? Yes I do.
But I also think there are some legitimate concerns brought up by people who are far more intelligent than I when it comes to this topic.
For example, From Dr. Farsalinos:
If you talk about the case for tobacco cigarettes not causing popcorn lung disease, we have responded to this through our study last year. I quote:
“A recent study raised doubts about the association between DA and AP exposure and development of bronchiolitis obliterans (Pierce et al., 2014); high levels of these chemicals were found in tobacco smoke while smoking is not a risk factor for development the disease. However, cigarette smoke contains many respiratory irritants, which probably act synergistically and cause a different pattern of lung disease. The prevalence of chronic obstructive lung disease in active smokers is estimated to be 15.4% (Raherison & Girodet, 2009), by far higher than the prevalence of bronchiolitis obliterans in patients exposed to diacetyl. Moreover, it is quite common that the condition is often misdiagnosed (Kreiss et al., 2002). Finally, post-mortem examinations have shown that many smokers have histopathological features of respiratory bronchiolitis (Niewoehner et al., 1974).”
Finally, let me note that diacetyl is indeed generally recognized as safe for ingestion because the damage is coming from direct contact of diacetyl with the lung epithelium (lung surface) and not by the presence of diacetyl in blood after it is absorbed!
What does that mean? It means the DI/AP contained in cigarettes when combined with the other toxins could lead to something other than popcorn lung, which could still potentially be… popcorn lung.
What else does this mean? It means we don’t know for sure.
But just because we don’t know and some may feel it’s being blown out of proportion, brushing it off, IMHO is irresponsible given the research we have.
- Do I think vaping DI/AP is going to kill you overnight? No I don’t.
- Do I think vaping DI/AP at the levels we do even from the biggest offenders has the potential to be of no concern at all? Can’t answer that one. Time and research will tell.
- Do I still think there is cause for concern? Yes I do.
So is this a call to remove all AP & DI from all liquids? No… maybe, well yes… kinda, but not really. No because we as adults should be able to decide for ourselves what we use and how we use it, and what harm level we may want to expose ourselves to. Yes to protect the very same people who sparked this post. Those people who have no idea what AP & DI is. The seventy year old grandma who goes into a vape shop and buys a super tasty flavor not knowing the contents and potential risk and not given that information by the shop owner or the liquid vendor, thinking they are being as safe as possible. Should the industry sell these products to that person responsibly and ethically, protecting that person to the best of it’s ability? I think so. Maybe you can see my dilemma here.
- Do I think regulations will require it to be removed if being sold to the public no matter how we feel about it? Absolutely.
We at least need proper testing done on the liquids and the results clearly and publicly presented, giving vapers the information they need to make up their own minds. You always have to remember, what may not be important to you may be extremely important to someone else.
It’s up to us as adults to choose the level of risk we are willing to subject ourselves to whether or not that risk is even founded… If you don’t feel comfortable using it or doing it, don’t!
Just as important, research needs to continue in using AP/DI in the way we do. Perhaps someday we’ll find out that at our exposure levels, there are no concerns at all and we can go on happily vaping our deliciously creamy & buttery AP/DI laden flavors with no worries at all, but we’re not there yet and may never be.
The same can be said for the materials we use…
- Is using kanthal any safer than using nichrome or titanium or nickel or stainless steel or greekmantium?
- Is using organic cotton any safer than using rayon or silica or hemp or mesh or ceramic?
That goes for how we vape as well…
- Is vaping at lower temperatures safer than higher temperatures?
- Is a shorter draw safer than a longer draw?
- Is vaping lower nicotine levels, but consuming more liquid safer than higher nicotine levels and less liquid?
We don’t know, but we need to, and studies need to continue using all of these materials in all of the different ways we use them.
Vaping is a very interesting game folks. It’s not like smoking (no shit Phil). I believe, at this point, we know that it’s far safer than smoking. I’ve read as much as 95% safer than smoking. With vaping, however, you also have control over how much safer than smoking it is. I personally would love to know how that 95% number changes based on what we use and how we use it.
I truly believe we’re going to come to find out that vaping in different ways increases or decreases risks to your health. Some will be happy with “who cares, it’s all still safer than smoking”. Others will not and continue to look for the safest ways to vape. Some will accept potential risks associated with their style of vaping, others will not.
It’s similar to my current feelings on NI and TI. I continue to use the materials and I’m comfortable using them at temperatures I do. However, if research into using these materials the way we do presents a legitimate concern, I may very well re-think my ways.
But remember what I said before… “If you don’t feel comfortable doing it or using it, don’t!”
Research is needed!
Issues with vaping need to be identified. When they are identified we need to not freak out, solve the problem, learn from it, and move forward. They need to be made public. Mainstream media blowing these issues out of proportion is something we’re going to have to get used to and deal with.
I feel worst for the smoker in this situation. Those people who may be swayed by what they see and hear in mainstream media pushing them away from a potentially lifesaving or extending product. We need to continually educate those people and guide them to the truth.
They are being given only one side of the story. These mainstream news articles, when presenting the ills of vaping MUST compare them to the ills of smoking. Doing anything less is completely irresponsible.
We have a long way to go before we get the answers everyone is looking for, but in the meantime it’s very important to understand that vaping is about harm REDUCTION not harm ELIMINATION. Use these products at your own risk, but do your best to educate yourself on potential issues and concerns. And always remember, that the safest way to vape is to not vape at all… but don’t smoke either! 😉
Here endeth my rant!
Vape happy everyone and have a great weekend.