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The Counterfactual: Do e-cigarettes (ENDS) cause lung injuries?

Republished from Clivebates.com with the consent of the author

Nicotine e-cigarettes did not cause the lung injuries described in this section. This entire section is completely misleading and has no place in a Q & A on nicotine e-cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems). It is clear beyond doubt that nicotine vaping was not implicated in the outbreak of EVALI discussed in this section.

In fact, there is no evidence for this whatsoever. This is a statement that ENDS (i.e. nicotine products) are implicated in the episode of lung injuries seen in the US in late 2019. The evidence is clearly contrary to this. Here is how I summarised the argument in my critique: The outbreak of lung injuries often known as “EVALI” was nothing to do with nicotine vaping.

Bates, C. (2021). The outbreak of lung injuries often known as “EVALI” was nothing to do with nicotine vaping. Qeios. https://doi.org/10.32388/ZGVHM7.3

This quote is fake and misleading. This is nonsense and not even a real quote from CDC. This is not the wording used by CDC and the word “ENDS” does not appear on the CDC page cited. The reason is obvious: ENDS means “Electronic Nicotine Delivery System” and there are no ENDS that have THC and Vitamin E Acetate (VEA) added because that is not physically possible (see Kozlovich et al, 2021) – these liquids do not mix. Far from being updated every week, this CDC page was last updated in February 2020. 

The wrong time and wrong attribution. That might be because the outbreak had dwindled to almost nothing by February 2020. This is consistent with supply chain contamination (with VEA) that ended once the problem was discovered and the supply chain emptied.

Source CDC

Yet more than two years later, in May 2022, it seems as though anti-vaping activists like the World Health Organisation found that promoting the EVALI story was just too tempting not to use in their misinformation operations. They commit the dual sin of drawing on an episode that is substantially over and misattributing it to nicotine e-cigarettes.

Written by Clive Bates

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