To answer some FAQ:
No, I do not believe all vape devices contain cadmium, nor do I believe that about most auto-vape pens (which are the focus of this study).
Yes, I recognize the cadmium hypothesis is unusual and acute cadmium exposure is rare. So is VAPI/EVALI. If the cause of the epidemic was common or easily recognized, we'd already know what it is.
Yes, I vape. Some of the dissected vape pen battery compartments show signs of use and corrosion because *I* was vaping from them over the past year.
*I was literally shocked when I opened the battery compartment.
If you don't learn from history...
It does not diminish the seriousness of the current epidemic, nor the lives lost, to point out that millions of people in the United States enjoy vaping (nicotine and cannabis) in the United States every year and most experience no adverse effects. It merely places the epidemic in the correct context.
Among the millions who vape, there have been 1,604 cases of VAPI/EVALI, with 34 confirmed deaths. The predictable (and somewhat understandable) political response has been to call for bans on vaping.
Let me speak to that, briefly.
If we recognize that illicit or poorly regulated vape products are to blame for the recent spate of deaths, then we must also recognize that banning vape products will worsen the problem. Multiple lessons from our nation's history have demonstrated that prohibition does not work, and has never worked.
Regulation and harm reduction approaches, on the other hand, save lives and money; Prohibition does the opposite. I'll talk about the European Union's Tobacco Product Directive (still no VAPI in the EU, btw) and how it impacts vape product safety in a later post.
Meanwhile, to counter the rising tide of "illegalize it!", the source of the problem must first be identified, then nullified.
So, here we go, down the hole!