Lung disease and injuries associated with vaping were a big concern in 2019, when EVALI first appeared. While the disease has decreased in incidence, it left a significant stain on the vaping industry, with the government banning some of these products and the public being more careful with the vapes they purchase.
A study found some interesting data regarding state marijuana laws and vaping lung injuries. It found that states with legal marijuana are less likely to have cases of EVALI disease, which makes a lot of sense. It also found that states with home cultivation policies have even fewer cases of EVALI disease.
Published in ScienceDirect, the report was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and showed some of the benefits of legalization, including the prediction from many that providing the public with regulated marijuana products would curb the rise of EVALI disease.
Results show that EVALI was 42% less likely in states with legal recreational marijuana. States that allowed the home cultivation of marijuana had even better results, reporting a 60% of lower incidence of EVALI.
“Marijuana policy attributes linked to lower EVALI incidences were also associated with reduced likelihoods of vaping as one’s primary mode of use,” conclude the study’s authors. “As additives in informally-sourced vaping concentrates could drive future EVALI cases, marijuana policy design should account for effects on mode of use in licit and illicit markets, to limit the scope of future outbreaks.”
The EVALI outbreak peaked in 2019, with medical experts naming vitamin E acetate as the culprit. This element was present in most affected lungs and was later banned in different states in the US.
This year, the Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of Juul vape products because of concerns over the product’s effects and its high usage rates in teens. While the ban was unrelated to the vaping epidemic, it doesn’t paint a good picture for Juul and for the vaping industry as a whole.