E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

Laughable “Study” Suggests EVALI-Like Symptoms Tied to Vaping Since 2016

The so–called “EVALI epidemic”, which both the CDC and the media wrongly blamed on vaping, wreaked havoc in the United States last year, but according to a small and frankly embarrassing study, its symptoms could be observed way back in 2016. If only we had paid more attention…

The American Heart Association (AHA) has always gone out of its way to promote and even finance research that put electronic cigarettes and vaping in a bad light, but it has reached a new low by allowing a non-sensical study to be presented during its American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020 event. If this doesn’t show that the AHA will use any opportunity to slander vaping, I don’t know what will.

Titled “Association of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Usage and EVALI-like Symptoms“, the study in question examined 1432 current e-cigarette users who completed an online survey back in 2016, providing information about the type of electronic devices and flavors they used and reporting symptoms like cough, nausea,  loss of taste/smell,  shortness of breath, chest pain and stomach pain, which the authors described as “EVALI-like symptoms”.

A total of 27% of respondents reported experiencing cough, and 7.3%, nausea, with respondents under 45-years-old, Hispanic, current smokers, and current users of other products being the most vulnerable. The authors found that e-cigarette users and those using flavored e-liquids had higher odds of having any clinical symptoms, compared to non-users.

“ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System) use was significantly associated with the odds of having clinical symptoms, including EVALI-like symptoms,” the study concluded, while one of the authors, Thanh-Huyen T. Vu, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, said that “health care professionals need to assist patients in better understanding the full risks and potential harms of using e-cigarettes and related products.”

So basically a study which found e-cigarette users who were also current smokers to most likely suffer from “lung injury” symptoms wants to convince us that EVALI was around back in 2016, and that e-cigarette use was causing it. What?

Where does one even start with such “impressive” research? Although it took them a while, even the CDC officially admitted that EVALI doesn’t appear to be linked to the vaping of nicotine-laced e-liquids, but rather with the inhalation of vitamin E acetate and other toxic compounds in THC-containing vaping products. The general public still wrongly associates vaping with the dreaded EVALI, but researchers should do better!

Then there is the ludicrous idea that EVALI-like symptoms were reported in 2016, but somehow we didn’t see any cases until three years later? Were all such cases covered up by the all-powerful “Big Vape Industry”, or what? Good thing these researchers came along and did their little study, otherwise the truth would have been lost forever…

Finally, how do you link these so-called “EVALI-like symptoms” to vaping without addressing the elephant in the room, smoking? The study actually mentions that e-cig users who also smoked tobacco were most likely to report such symptoms, so why wouldn’t you at least declare this as a limitation?

The study (and the press release) are an insult for science and common sense,” Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, an experienced researcher on vaping, wrote about this study. “Scientists suggest that symptoms linked to EVALI (an outbreak that happened in 2019) were present in 2016. Additionally, EVALI-like symptoms included non-specific symptoms that could be easily linked to COVID-19. Perhaps COVID-19 is a disease caused by e-cigarettes. And it was already present in 2016. The scientific community needs to urgently examine this possibility and release another impressive statement about the risks of evil e-cigarettes.”

Experts have been warning about the poor quality of research on vaping for a while now, but instead of things getting better, they seem to be getting worse, and sadly that may end up costing the world millions of lives.

Top photo: Shirish Suwal/Unsplash

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