By MARK LORENZANA
Alejandro Ernesto Svarch Pérez, head of Mexico’s Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), warned on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 18, that vaping devices and electronic cigarettes use cartridges with “vaping oil” that contain linalool — a substance used to kill pests such as flies and cockroaches — and ingesting it through vaping can be harmful to the health.
Svarch Pérez, speaking at the daily morning press conference of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), explained that Cofepris was in charge of analyzing the oil or “juice” used in the cartridges in vaping devices and electronic cigarettes, and that they found various hidden substances that the manufacturers have not warned the consumer about in the packaging.
Aside from linalool, which is a substance commonly found in insecticides, Cofepris found glycerin, propylene glycol (found in gadgets that generate artificial smoke or vapor), dimethyl ether (which is highly flammable), benzyl alcohol (used in cleaning products) and ethyl propionate, among others.
Svarch Pérez likewise accused the vaping industry of promoting electronic cigarettes as a perverse way of ending cigarette addiction, especially to the young, by replacing it with something equally dangerous.
“We would like to take advantage of this space to present evidence and warn of the risks associated with vaping, as some young people call it,” Svarch Pérez said. “Now we are facing another challenge, perhaps a bigger one, a perverse way of the vaping industry advertising to the youth for them to use their products.”
Svarch stressed that a government initiative has led to Cofepris having seized 72,000 vaping gadgets and electronic cigarettes so far this year.
In May of this year Cofepris, together with Mexico’s Interior Secretariat (SeGob), issued a maximum health alert against vaping and all other forms of tobacco-consumption devices, such as hookahs and water pipes.