Lung Injuries due to vaping are at an all-time high. Along with teen vaping. Articles on the dangers of vaping are flooding every news feed and social stream. But as new reports of injuries come out, THC vape carts have been involved.
130+ injuries due to vaping. First reported death due to vaping. A new type of lung diseases possible caused by vaping. Vaping bans. Vape flavor bans. If you are online, watch the news, or still read the newspaper you might be familiar with these headlines.
Misinformation, or lack of information, is rampant in these news articles. Much of it can be tied to the popularity of the subject and the eagerness to push out content as quickly as possible. Without any reliable information to back up their claims.
Yet the clickbait headlines are juicy and exciting. But most Americans simply go by what the headlines say, as reported by the American Press Institute. Leaving them and many others with a general perception that all vape products can be deadly.
Vape companies are being blamed for being associated with the word "VAPING". And assume that all vape products are the same. But those close to vapers and the vape community know this is far from the truth. We know the great lengths in research, testing and quality control that is done to become a high-quality vape manufacturer. And we also know that the complete opposite exists.
We hear horror stories being in the industry of poor quality manufacturers. Cheap, unregulated devices from China. Or vape juice made at home in unsanitary conditions. Someone thinking about starting vape may want to think twice. As these products give vape a bad name.
And we also hear of illegal THC vape carts.
THC Vape carts. Small attachments for vape pens loaded with THC. Also called E-joints, have been around for a while. But only recently have they been getting more attention in the media.
Vape carts are attached to e-cigarettes or vape pens. Often loaded with huge amounts of THC. The psychoactive compound found in marijuana that gets people high.
Vape carts can be thought of as refills for marijuana vape pens. When they are obtained someone would simply get the refill cartridge for vaping. Similar to vape pods sold on the market. When attached to the unit the vape device is then powered by the battery, which then powers the atomizer.
For reference, this is an image of a vape cart on the left and how it looks assembled on the right
Vape carts have been around for some time now. Their introduction into the marijuana market did not cause hysteria. Companies who once introduced them as the next big thing seemingly faded into non-existence. The demand for e-joints seemed to not be there at the time. Even with marketing in famous publications at the time.
A popular fake brand of vape cart is "Dank Vapes"
Branded and packaged professionally. Yet this company seems to not exist. Searching online many products can be found. From websites to social media accounts. But even those who are fans of this fake brand caution others to be wary of illegal versions being sold on the street.
Vape carts are filled with large amounts of THC. The ingredient in Marijuana.
While there may be tested and high-quality marijuana and CBD vape carts on the market. Illegal vape carts have also been rising in popularity. Often made by someone at home using unknown chemicals. People selling black market vape carts also frequently learn to make these products by viewing DIY websites and videos online. Sites like Youtube have been under scrutiny for allowing these videos to be shown.
Illegal vape carts are unregulated. Made usually in unsanitary conditions. With chemicals that can be bought at your everyday market or grocery store. Along with marijuana that has not come from a quality source and that is not tested for dangerous chemicals or pesticides.
Many states, and marijuana dispensaries are urging consumers to stay away from illegal thc vape cart products.
Recently, the FDA has found in a link in the patients who fell ill from vape related injuries. An oil derived from vitamin E that was possibly used as a cutting agent. During the talks that occurred with the FDA and state health officials, an official from New York also confirmed this chemical was found in their patients who became ill after vaping THC.
The creation of the illegal vape cart liquids can be frightening. But the dangers of illegal vape carts purchased on the streets can be masked by their presentation.
The packaging for these illegal products can appear like some of the legitimate brands on the market. And in some case can be better.
Sellers of illegal vape carts have gotten better at disguising their dangerous products to unsuspecting buyers. As they often look like professionally made products. With things like embossed packaging and sealed to appear straight out of the factory.
Often cute familiar childhood characters and famous brands are shown on the vape cart packaging. Branding associated with trusted companies is now being used by the black market. Illegally. Purposefully chosen to appeal to youth and to give a professional appearance.
Although the packaging may look legitimate. It is easy to acquire what is needed by purchasing the materials online. From the cartridge to the packaging. Further enhancing the appearance of these illegal products to make them seem harmless and trusted.
Popular overseas shopping sites have been a source for knock-off and cheap products for years. Fake versions of your favorite shoe brand to illegally branded versions of almost every popular product that exists. Empty vape cartridges ready to be filled with illegal vape liquid are no exemption. They are easy to be found by anyone. Making it harder to stop the illegal production of these vape carts.
Packaging can also be easily found and purchased. With total disregard from some of these overseas companies for trademark and brand usage. Finding packaging with your favorite childhood cereal or recent video game character is a button click away.
Looking at the packaging that these illegal vape products are using, lawsuits against vape companies marketing to youth makes sense. Especially if a youth acquires one and is found by a parent. A guardian not knowing about the existence of these illegal products can certainly be alarmed. Quite possibly calling out all vape to be banned. Or for new state vape rules to be set in place to prevent the sale of these vape products.
Although none of these illegal products are an actual vape company. Or follow FDA rules.
Lung injuries due to THC vape carts are being reported nationwide.
But like anything illegal being sold. Finding out the source or a buyer is difficult. Avoiding attention from the law is crucial as being found selling or in possession of these dangerous products can carry heavy penalties.
Many of the injuries due to vaping news articles cannot find a definite source. With most of the vape cart users not sharing fully where they bought the vape product. Although recently some have come forward stating that they bought their THC vape cart from a street dealer.
The problem of purchasing vape illegally is sometimes easier with the various forms of digital communication available today. Mainly social media. While these platforms have given a voice to many. They have also been a way to solicit illegal drugs to anyone, regardless of age. And the ease of using digital payment methods have made it also harder to track. Many illegal sources also make claims of shipping worldwide and discreet shipping. Making the problem of preventing them from reaching youth even greater.
More has to be done on preventing these illegal sales online.
Vape shops and online vape stores place stringent age verification systems in place for a reason. To prevent underage youth from obtaining products or vape juice online. The ability to easily buy vape online from these sources sets the industry back as a whole. As once again the perception of the word "VAPING" is tied to all. Even those following the rules and ensuring products are safe from toxins.
Vape companies are now being burdened with trying to combat the public perception caused by these illegal products.
With recent news revealing the existence of these illegal vape carts. We hope soon that the media and public are well enough informed to know that not all vaping is the same.
Associating the word "VAPING" to these illegal vape carts is damaging for an industry. Setting back progress that has been made in public and lawmakers perceptions.
What are your thoughts on the media and news articles on vaping? Comment below.
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