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Dodgy Diagnoses

Media leaps on an allergic reaction and immediately blames vaping and a US Senator blames vaping for causing “instant popcorn lung”.

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Vaping has been blamed for a rash of ailments despite little or no supporting scientific evidence. A Bristol CDB user broke out in a rash in a story that was picked up by Fox News in the United States. This happened at the same time as a Senator claimed vaping caused “instant popcorn lung” in a child despite Cancer Research UK saying this is impossible.

Lisa Santiago-Griggs suffers from a painful back and has be self-administering CBD capsules. For unexplained reasons, she decided to pop into a local vape shop and purchase a starter kit so she could vape CBD instead. Prior to this, Santiago-Griggs says she has never smoked or vaped, which makes the decision to change from capsules seem odd.

She woke at 2am and complained of “itching”, which developed into a painful rash and she ended up in Bristol’s Southmead Hospital.

True to form, this has to be someone else’s fault – and Lisa is blaming the shop: “They just sold it to me and sent me on my way.”

Sent her on her way? Did they order her out of the store? Did one of the sales assistants push her through the door and demand she make her way home? We need to be told.

It isn’t just the fault of the shop: "I am 100 per cent convinced it was the vape.”

It is possible that one of the constituents of the carrier liquid could be to blame for the reaction – but it is in no way demonstrable, many other factors could have come into play.

Correlation is not causation

It seems reasonable to expect people doing something for the first time to conduct research and ask questions, something that Santiago-Griggs failed to do.

Michigan State’s Democrat Senator Dayna Polehanki also failed to do her homework before speaking during a hearing discussing vaping.

“I was a teacher, last semester, and one of my ninth grade students, the first time she vaped, she got instant popcorn lung,” commented Polehanki.

“Something with how her body was made, she went on life support. She is now healthy again and back to school.”

Instant popcorn lung that was swiftly cured? This is as close to a miracle that anybody is going to encounter during 2019. Some may wonder how this medical breakthrough failed to make the news when it happened.

Popcorn lung, the common name for bronchiolitis obliterans, doesn’t occur instantly. Nor does the disease have a cure.

Moreover, vaping doesn’t cause popcorn lung.

Cancer Research UK says: “There’s no good evidence that e-cigarettes could cause the lung condition called popcorn lung. There’s been no cases of popcorn lung reported in people who use e-cigarettes.”

“A link between breathing in a chemical called diacetyl was made when a cluster of popcorn factory workers were all found to have the rare lung condition. It was not related to use of e-cigarettes.”

“In the UK, diacetyl was banned in e-cigarette liquid under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2016. So, e-liquids sold in the UK shouldn’t contain diacetyl. Current research finds that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking and there’s growing evidence they may help some people to quit.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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