According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 8 million people per year, and it remains one of the biggest health threats the world has ever faced. And although tobacco use has dropped among America’s teens in recent years, electronic cigarettes (aka “e-cigarettes”) has largely filled that void.
E-cigarettes were first produced and marketed in the mid-2000s. These devices were billed as a healthier, safer, and more affordable alternative to regular cigarettes.
These products do not contain any tobacco and they do not produce any secondhand smoke, so on the surface, they seemed like a good substitute for cigarette smokers who were trying to quit the habit. But as time went on, the public began to realize that e-cigarettes and vaping come with a lot of problems of their own.
E-cigarettes are cigarette-shaped electronic devices that work by heating a liquid to create an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. Most e-cigs contain nicotine, although there are some that do not. These devices also contain other substances like propylene glycol and various flavoring agents.
Since the vast majority of e-cigarettes and vaping pens in the US contain nicotine, the claim that these devices can be used to successfully quit a nicotine addiction is highly suspect. But beyond that, it is now known that these devices are anything but safe.
In the short term, e-cigarettes have been known to overheat and explode under certain conditions. This can cause severe burn injuries to users and start fires that do untold amounts of additional damage. Information is also emerging that links vaping to lung damage and other serious health problems.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of the effects of e-cigarette explosions and/or vaping, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out your legal rights and options, contact the experienced product liability attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. Reach out to us today to set up your free, no obligation consultation.
E-Cigarettes Marketed to American Youth
Years ago, it was uncovered that Big Tobacco engaged in a massive marketing campaign targeted toward young people. They knew that if you can get someone to use their product when they are young, it is much easier to get them hooked and turn them into a lifelong user. Unfortunately, history has repeated itself with the marketing of e-cigarettes.
This past June, e-cigarette manufacturer Juul agreed to pay $40 million to the state of North Carolina to settle a lawsuit filed by its Attorney General alleging that the company intentionally marketed its products to teens and misled the public about the risks of e-cigs and vaping. Juul also agreed to make changes to its business practices in the Tar Heel state. But this settlement is just the tip of the iceberg as Juul is facing similar lawsuits in several other states.
The Hazards of E-Cigarettes and Vaping
There have been widespread reports of e-cigarette and vape pen explosions over the past several years, and this usually happens because of the device’s lithium-ion batteries overheating while being charged. The device might also explode if it comes in direct contact with other metals, such as keys that someone might have in their pocket or purse.
E-cigarette explosions have been known to cause serious burn injuries to various parts of the body, and they can also cause blindness (when the device blows up in someone’s face), hearing loss, and even the loss of a finger. Victims who experience these types of injuries may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or other parties within the product’s supply chain.
E-cigarettes and vaping pens that overheat and explode are bad enough, but we are also finding that vaping carries a number of health risks as well. In 2019, the CDC reported a link between vaping and severe lung illnesses in at least 22 states, and this activity has been linked to a number of other health concerns as well, such as:
- Nausea, vomiting, and more severe gastrointestinal issues.
- Respiratory illnesses.
- Heart and cardiovascular problems.
- Decreased attention span and brain fog.
E-cigarettes have been shown to be just as addictive (if not more so) than traditional cigarettes, and because this product is still relatively new, we are not totally certain what other long-term effects they may have on teens and others who regularly use them. One thing is certain though: companies like Juul should immediately cease marketing to young people altogether, and they must be held to account for the damage that their product has been causing.