Despite this, initial reports show that because of the reduced level of toxins in vape ‘smoke’, they are up to 95% less harmful than cigarettes (2) but would not recommend that non-smokers start vaping because there is still a risk of harm. In fact, recently there have been lots of reports from the United States of people who have died or developed a serious lung disease as a result of e-cigarettes. As of December 10th 2019, the American government has acknowledged over 2,400 cases of vaping related lung injuries, and 52 deaths in the US alone (3) .Their findings show that a substance called THC, short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is found naturally in marijuana, may be to blame for some of these cases, but that there is not enough research available yet to definitely prove or disprove the link.
In many of these above cases, shortness of breath and chest pain have signalled the start of lung damage, which gets progressively worse and ultimately needs medical treatment and can even lead to death if not treated or severe. Such lung damage can also increase your risk of getting an infection such as pneumonia and in the United Kingdom, there have been a handful of cases in which there is an association between pneumonia and the use of e-cigarettes (5).