Letter: The Health Warning You SHOULD Be Reading

There has been a lot said recently about 450 or more recent cases of “Vaping Related Illness” centered in the United States in the last couple of months. To date, five of those cases resulted in the death of those affected. These were mostly younger and otherwise healthy people who should not have been ill or suffering from such extreme effects.

The two cartridges pictured above have a few things in common:

• Both are vaping cartridges.

• Both cartridges were originally designed to hold e-liquid (Propylene Glycol/Glycerine mix).

• Both are advertised as containing cannabis extract product.

• I couldn’t tell you where they were made, when they were made, how they were made, who made them, and exactly what is in them.

• Neither can the guy who runs the website where you can order them from.

• Both, due to their advertised contents, are illegal in Canada.

• Both are readily, albeit illicitly, obtainable in Canada via on-line MOM (Mail Order Marijuana) sites. Some of these sites claim to be Canadian and are often confused as legitimate retail sources for cannabis product by the consumer base.

Vaping is an action. A substance is heated until it becomes an aerosol (or in the case of cannabis, until the constituent desired – either CBD or THC – is released) and the user inhales that aerosol (or constituent) to receive the desired effects while limiting (Cannabis), or eliminating (Nicotine e-liquid) combustion-based smoke from the process.

A lot of different things can be put in a vapourizer: legal, regulated, unregulated and illicit. Nicotine bearing e-liquid, tobacco, cannabis (dry leaf), cannabis concentrates, aroma-therapy “liquids”, aroma-therapy “Herbs”, vitamin concoctions and so forth.

However, just because something CAN be placed in a vapourizer, does not mean it SHOULD be placed in a vapourizer. Inhaling oil-based products is not safe. Inhaling certain commercial flavourings can carry a risk. Plenty of products that have been well studied for oral intake and digestive absorption, may now be promoted and advertised as available and “safe” for inhalation even though they have not been studied or assessed for safety and efficacy in such a form.

All of this and we haven’t even started to discuss pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizer contamination that may be present in the illicit cannabis market and is strictly prohibited in the legitimate cannabis market.

It is this illicit market, that is at the heart of the current outbreak of illness and now death in the United States that we see on the news and in the headlines. Yes, those who got sick were “vaping” but the lesson is in “what” they were vaping, and where it came from.

Canadians no longer need to access the black market for either cannabis products, or nicotine bearing vapour technology products.

Please purchase your Cannabis and Vapour Technology products from their respective legal supply chains. Do not adulterate them, and please use them as they are intended by the manufacturer or producer, to be used.

Thomas Kirsop, CEO
Alternatives & Options – Vapourizers and E-Liquids Ltd.

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  1. People seem to be missing the fact that these are thc pods that are well known to be garbage and hazardous. Yet lets blame all of vaping. Seriously the news and government is stupid as fuck.

    • It’s a tough gig these days being a writer who is pro tobacco harm reduction and pro vaping. If you watch the news reports on Fox,( and in an only slightly less aggressive manner, CNN) advocates for vaping only get invited to speak so that they can be pummeled with the opposing sides more dramatic talking points. We don’t fare much better in print media either.

      So when an advocate does manage to develop a relationship with a news media provider, we naturally are somewhat loathe to screw that up.

      While I understand the passion of some vapers and on many occasions I might have demonstrated similar exuberance via a poorly thought out tweet, or hasty Facebook post; I would ask that folks express their opinions in the comments section of this news site in a more family friendly tone.

      The editor is a pretty tolerant fellow and open minded on many subjects, but I worry that if rude comments with foul language sour the readership to the topic, then I might lose the access I have to this venue to speak for your rights and the rights of many smokers in this community to maintain access to a less harmful option.

      It is entirely possible to express a very strong opinion in the press without coming off as crude or crass, even on hot button topics such as this.

      Kindly be respectful to our community and it’s news agency. I understand both your passion and your anger, but the tone in which you express them will do more harm than good.


      Thomas Kirsop

  2. I agree with your comment about respectful language. The reason people question the stats about people sick or dying related to vaping the information is never complete as to pre-existing health conditions or using other substances at the same time and of course the difference in stats depending where the stats come from. It is too bad that some manufacturer has not come up with safe ingredients due to the fact many people have been able to quit smoking by vaping which now sounds like a more dangerous device than smoking.

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