Since their introduction into the American tobacco industry, cigarettes have created a substantial public health crisis. Despite efforts to help people quit smoking, tobacco is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year associated with cancers, emphysema, heart disease, and stroke. Therefore, any product that could limit the consumption of cigarettes could be considered of immense value. But, are e-cigarettes that product? Although they do not contain any tobacco, they do contain nicotine—an addictive drug that is naturally found in tobacco. The presence of nicotine is one of many health concerns associated with e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that mimic the feeling of smoking real cigarettes. They come in several forms, such as vape pens, mods, and Juuls. These devices work by heating a cartridge that contains nicotine, artificial flavoring, and many other chemicals. The vapor that is released is considered “smokeless” and allows consumers to use these devices in public areas where cigarettes are usually prohibited.
Despite the rapid increase in e-cigarette consumption over the past few years, the product is still relatively new to the market. It was not until 2016 that the FDA formally gave the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) regulatory authority over e-cigarettes. At this time, it also became illegal to sell vaping products to people under 18, distribute free samples, and sell them in vending machines. Ever since, CTP has aggressively enforced the regulation over the manufacturing, marketing, and selling of these products.
The body’s reaction to traditional cigarettes creates long-term inflammation, resulting in chronic illnesses like emphysema, bronchitis, and heart disease. E-cigarettes are smokeless, so many individuals falsely assume that they may be safer. In reality, they contain several of the same chemicals and therefore are associated with many of the same risks. Since 2009, the FDA has conducted multiple studies to determine the product’s safety. They detected levels of known carcinogens, toxic compounds found in antifreeze, formaldehyde, and several other dangerous chemicals.
By October 2019, at least 18 people have reportedly died, and over 1,000 have been hospitalized for e-cigarette related lung illnesses. These prevalent health risks are aggravated by the danger associated with e-cigarettes exploding in the user’s mouth or face. These explosions are caused by overheating of the lithium-ion battery called “thermal runaway” and may result in severe burn injuries. Furthermore, the intake of nicotine in the volume provided by e-cigarettes could encourage the use of other deadly tobacco products.
A dedicated attorney could review your experiences and symptoms to help determine how best to proceed with your case. Your attorney could work to prove that negligence on behalf of the manufacturer is the cause of your suffering. If you or a loved one have experienced injuries or illnesses associated with vaping devices, working with a skilled e-cigarette lawyer might help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to discuss your case.