Doctor Says EVALI is Often Used in Wrong Context

E-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) is a term that is coming up more often in countries like Malaysia that are just beginning the journey towards regulating next-generation tobacco products.

Dr. Kumar Subaramaniam, based in Malaysia, says he finds the increased usage of the term EVALI worrisome, as it is often discussed in the wrong context, according to the New Strait Times. Kumar said that the issue lies with certain parties, who bring up EVALI at the mention of vaping, while repeating and spreading mistruths about vaping.

Credit: Fotolia Premium

When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the real culprit behind the EVALI outbreak, the presence of vitamin E acetate that was added into illegal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, Kumar said the CDC’s slow reaction to announcing the cause caused the mishap that left a bad reputation on vaping, which was touted to give many smokers a chance to quit smoking tobacco products for good.

“So, it was not vaping that was the problem, rather the misuse and abuse of the products. But the damage has been done and the half-baked truths surrounding EVALI live on to this day,” he says. “The EVALI saga should not be used as a ‘boogeyman’ to dissuade us from seeking to regulate vaping and adopt a ‘zero-tolerance’ attitude. In fact, the EVALI saga in the U.S. shows above all the importance of regulations.”

Kumar believes that Malaysia needs to regulate vaping for the safety of its users. Regulations will allow the authorities and consumers themselves to be sure that the e-liquids in the market meet regulatory standards.

Perhaps regulations will pave the way for a greater understanding of how vaping, which is scientifically proven to be a less harmful alternative to smoking, can help the estimated five million smokers in the country kick the habit, he says. “If we are to move forward in this country and put an end to the menace that is smoking, we need to arm ourselves with good science, facts and data,” said Kumar. “