Vape or vaping. Is it actually dangerous? Or is our government overreacting?
Before I start, go to www.google.com.my, and type "Dangers of". And you'll see the 1st result that pops out is "dangers of vape".
This shows that Malaysians are mighty concerned about this, but at the same time, are not sure whom to listen to. Some say Vaping is better than cigarettes, while some say vaping may kill you.
Let's look at this issue objectively shall we?
1. Vape contains less chemicals than Cigarettes.
While this is debatable, generally Cigarettes tend to contain more KINDS of chemicals. Notorious chemicals like tar etc are but 1 in thousands of detected chemicals in cigarettes. Also, cigarettes do contain a lot of by products and free radicals associated with burning.
Does that make vape better in this sense? Well, not really.While the NUMBER of chemicals added into vape are FAR less than cigarettes, the QUANTITY or percentage of chemicals added into vape liquids are far higher. Most brands of vape liquid contain more Nicotine than cigarettes, certain brands as high as 4 times the content of cigarettes, making them much more addictive and harder to quit.
Apart from nicotine, Vape "mixers" tend to add in a lot of weird stuff to "flavourize" their products. If you do a simple web search, you'll be spoilt for choice for flavours and brands. All these concoctions or mixtures are not regulated, nor tested for their effects on the human body. We'll discuss this further in point 4.
2. Your local fish monger may be running a vape business part time. (Just an example, no offence to fish mongers!)
Vape or e-cigarette businesses are mushrooming all over Malaysia, be it online or in your make shift "Vape store tepi jalan", because selling vape liquid or equipment is fast and easy money. No longer do the government exert control over a superbly addictive product, so everybody wants a piece of the action.
While getting rich fast is not of our concern, the health risks it poses IS. We had several of our customers asking for quotes for ingredients used to make Vape liquid (like PG and VG), and these customers have ZERO medical nor chemical knowledge. They are in it for ONE thing, and it is to make fast money, regardless of any health consequence. The best thing is, they are asking me for ways to substitute these ingredients for LOWER COST materials that can give "the same effect".
3. "Safe" and harmless chemicals in vape are not so harmless.
Propylne glycol is used in vape as a "carrier" and also to provide a "throat hit" that makes vape more similar to smoking. While Propylene Glycol IS generally considered safe by the CDC, concentrations in foods range from <0.001% in eggs and soups to about 15% in some seasonings and flavorings. Most e-liquid contains at least 80% and as much as 92% propylene glycol. At these concentrations, vape can potentially cause:
- lactic acidosis,
- intravascular hemolysis,
- complications of CNS depression,
- hypoglycemia, and
- renal failure
It's alright if you don't understand a word in the list above. Just know that it's BAAAAAAD.
4. But cigarettes are even worse...aren't they?
Which is worse? It will depend on the vape liquid you buy. Because every Tom, Dick and Harry makes their own "brand" of vape liquid, it's just a matter of time before some idiot mixes the wrong proportions of chemicals, or even wrong ingredients for the vape liquid, and one whiff might be enough to kill you. An example is if some idiot bought "ethylene glycol" instead of propylene glycol. Both are colourless, odourless liquid, and ethylene glycol has a sweet taste to it, which may make this idiot think it'll make even better vape liquid. If you inhale enough ethylene glycol into your body, you may become confused, then have difficulty BREATHING. In this case, vaping can be more dangerous than cigarettes.
But then you may argue, will vape suppliers be so bold as to sell stuff that may harm their customers? Well you decide. Most of these businesses are operated online, and others operate with no licences off stalls tepi jalan. If they smell trouble, they can just pack and roll up, and open up a new stall with a new name and brand elsewhere.
However, WE ARE NOT suggesting that all vape retailers are like that. We do know that there are a lot of vape brands in the market which are more reputable than others, but it's hard if not impossible for customers to know which are the black sheep.
5. Then comes the issue of Government regulations.
A lot of famous people in Malaysia have accused the government of wanting to ban vape due to the taxes lost from cigarette sales. Whether this is true or not we have no idea, because we are not the government. But what we DO know, is that we government regulation is very much required NOW to prevent this from getting out of hand.
As a doctor from KKM has said, put out the fire when it is still a flame. Don't wait until it becomes a forest fire, because by then, it will only stop after it has burnt down the entire forest. Take a lesson from cigarettes. It is now almost impossible to ban cigarettes, because it has grew into such a monstrous entity. We have to act fast, act now.
Watch the video below for just 1 reason why regulation is required. Then decide if control is needed.