Lessons from the public health responses to the US outbreak of vaping-related lung injury.
Addiction. 2020 May 04;:
Authors: Hall W, Gartner C, Bonevski B
AIMS: To describe an outbreak of lung injuries in 2019 among people who vaped in the USA (type of injuries, persons afflicted, substances vaped, and cause of the injuries) and to analyse critically the regulatory responses of public health authorities and the media reporting of the outbreak.
METHODS: Case studies of the reporting of the e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak. We examined data on the number of cases of lung injury provided by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), public advice on the causes of the outbreak provided by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), major media reports of the outbreak and proposed regulatory responses by governments in the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom.
RESULTS: The CDC initially suggested that the cause of the outbreak was nicotine vaping because the outbreak followed a large increase in nicotine vaping among US adolescents. Case control studies revealed that the majority of cases had vaped illicit cannabis oils that were contaminated by vitamin E acetate. The CDC’s public advice and the media were slow to report the evidence on the role of cannabis vaping. Popular government regulatory proposals – bans on sales of nicotine flavours and vaporisers – were based on the assumption that nicotine vaping was the cause of the outbreak.
CONCLUSIONS: Media reporting in the US, Australia, and the UK of the US Centers for Disease Control’s analysis of the causes of the e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak contributed to regulatory over-reactions to nicotine vaping by the public health community.
PMID: 32364274 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2