Vaping Hazards Linked to Counterfeits
Vaping has experienced a phenomenal surge over the past decade. According to global market research firm Euromonitor, the number of vaping devices is projected to grow from 48 million in 2018 to 55 million by 2021. However, these dizzying numbers also include consumers using counterfeit equipment. With the recent outcries over e-cigarette-related deaths and injuries, questions must be asked as to whether there are sufficient anti-counterfeit measures in place to combat the spread of fake vaping products.
Illness and death from vaping
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that there have been at least 450 potential cases of vape and e-cig users developing severe respiratory problems. Out of this, there have now been six deaths believed to be caused by lung illnesses triggered by chemical exposure from vapes.
Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb noted in a series of tweets that these tragedies are likely caused by fake vapes and THC. He further stated that the FDA has been performing regular inspections of manufacturers and vaping device stores since 2017. The agency has also produced manufacturing guidelines and even ordered product recalls.
The most high-profile case of counterfeit vapes thus far involved two brothers in the United States, who purchased used vape cartridges and refilled them with up to 1,000 mg of liquid THC – about 150 times more than indicated on the original label. This was not an isolated case. In another major bust in the US, police confiscated counterfeit vaping devices worth $1.5 million and charged three individuals with trademark infringement. Officials claimed that the seized equipment was hard to distinguish from the original devices.
How can imitation vape devices harm you?
The production of fake vaporizers and cartridges, typically by low-quality manufacturers in China, are not regulated by rigorous fabrication, material, testing, and safety standards. Even the batteries used for vape devices do not use RoHS (restrictive of hazardous substances) compliant materials. The tobacco products, meanwhile, are not certified by any independent and credible regulatory bodies.
As a result, usage of such devices expose consumers to threats of injuries and infections which could even lead to death. Help spread awareness about the serious dangers of such products by joining our initiative – get more on #ImForReal here.