Vitamin Vaping: Health Trend or Health Risk?

vape pen in storeVaping dietary supplements can lead to injuries and death, despite irresponsible marketing claims. Learn more.

Vitamins are Important

We all need vitamins and minerals to thrive, but a well-balanced diet can usually provide all of the nutrition a person needs. Yet, more than half of Americans take dietary supplements, hoping to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need or enhance their health.

When taken correctly, dietary supplements may help prevent illness or fill gaps in your diet. Examples of effective supplement use are prenatal vitamins for expecting mothers and fish oil for preserving heart health.

However, supplements can only do so much for your health:

  • Supplements generally cannot reverse or cure diseases.
  • Supplements need to be taken the right way to be effective.
  • Supplements taken must be what a person actually needs.

Supplements are not always Beneficial

Not everyone needs to take dietary supplements because they get adequate nutrients from eating a variety of healthy foods. In some cases, supplementary vitamins, minerals, and herbal products can actually cause more harm than good.

  • Some supplements may have side effects, especially if taken with other medicines.
  • Supplements can cause problems for people with certain health conditions.
  • Supplements can interfere with prescription drugs and make them less effective.
  • Effects of some supplements have not been tested in demographic groups, like children and pregnant women.
  • Too much of certain supplements can be harmful.
  • Descriptive terms like “natural” and “nutritional supplement” do not mean that a product is healthy, necessary, or safe to use.

Before you start taking dietary supplements, learn about potential benefits and risks. It is a good idea to discuss them with your doctor, so he or she can incorporate them into your overall health management and avoid possible interactions with prescriptions.

How You Take Vitamins Makes a Difference

Vaping products have been marketed as an improved, less expensive, more convenient way to take supplements, touting claims such as “a break-through concept for delivering” vitamins and “absorbed more effectively than pills.”

People have been seeking more pleasant ways to take their vitamins since the creation of the Flintstones® chewable vitamin, but how you take dietary supplements can be more important than what you take. The same substance can cause different bodily reactions, depending on how it enters the body – swallowing it, sniffing it or inhaling it deeply, external skin contact or injecting it.

What is good for the stomach is typically not good for the lungs. For instance, you drink liquid water, but you would not want to inhale it!

Another example is Vitamin E, which is sold as a vaping product to be inhaled deep into the lungs. Vitamin E is naturally found in foods like olive oil and almonds. It is commonly available as a dietary supplement capsule and as a topical skin treatment. Swallowing a Vitamin E pill can support healthy lungs and prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Vitamin E oil applied externally can improve certain skin conditions.

However, some authorities have indicated that Vitamin E-containing oils inhaled directly into the lungs may become toxic and can lead to injury or death. Even in small amounts, the oil-like properties can cause symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain when inhaled into the lungs.

Vaping sends substances -- that may be healthy when entering your body through your stomach or applied to your skin -- into your lungs, where they may not belong. Supplements and flavors that may be safe for the digestive system may be harmful when breathed into the lungs.

If Vaping Vitamins can be Harmful, Why are These Products on the Market?

Vitamin vaping liquids fall into a currently unregulated zone as a non-drug, non-nicotine product that is not ingested. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food and dietary supplements that are consumed via the digestive system through the stomach.

Some manufacturers may deceptively imply that their products are dietary supplements already approved by the FDA. Legally, these products cannot be supplements, because they are inhaled and not ingested.

The experienced attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm seek to make sure that products are safe for consumers. Contact us at (916) 777-7777 if:

  • You or someone you know has suffered injury or felt ill as a result of using vaping vitamin supplement products;
  • You or a family member were disappointed by the ineffective performance of vitamin supplement products designed for vaping that you purchased; and/or
  • You or a family member purchased vitamin supplement products designed for vaping and were disappointed when you learned that they are not safe to use.

* This article discusses medical-legal issues, but is not medical advice.  Talk to your healthcare provider about any medical issues or questions.