As vaping and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have grown in popularity, many are turning away from tobacco products. But as time goes on there are more reports of victims harmed by vaping and e-cigarettes, as public health officials are beginning to learn. One of those risks is a condition identified by the CDC as EVALI. It stands for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, and the CDC estimates 2,000 people have developed it. Illnesses and complications from vaping have claimed the lives of at least seven victims. Other users have reported fires and injuries from exploding vaping and e-cigarette devices.
Officials believe they have pinned down at least one cause of vape-related illnesses: vitamin E acetate. On November 8, the CDC named the chemical as a contributor in many cases of vaping injuries. If you have been hurt in some way by vaping or e-cigarette devices, it’s important to consider legal action. You should also understand how vaping works.
Vaping is the use of a device – also called an e-cigarette – to heat up a liquid (vape juice). When vape juice is heated, it becomes an aerosol or vapor that is inhaled and exhaled. There are numerous flavors of vape juices, and many different kinds of devices by which they can be vaped. These juices contain nicotine, along with other chemicals and additives. Many users also vape marijuana-infused juices or CBD oil.
Certain flavors of vape juice have come under heavy criticism for allegedly being marketed for children. One example is cotton candy flavored vape juice. And indeed, many new vape users are middle school and high school students. These practices have caused critics to compare the vape industry to Big Tobacco, which faced intense litigation in the 90s.
The potential health risks associated with vaping and e-cigarettes are numerous. Among them are:
- Nicotine addiction
- Lung damage, including a condition known as popcorn lung
- Respiratory, heart, and cardiovascular problems
- Exposure to harmful chemical compounds and additives
- Aggravation of other conditions like asthma
Some users have even reported fires and explosions caused by vaping and e-cigarette devices. According to media reports, at least two victims have died from exploding and burning devices. Others have suffered severe burns and scarring. Malfunctioning vape batteries and chargers are often blamed for these injuries.
States have taken notice of the dangers of these products. In September 2019, New York banned most flavors of vape juices and e-cigarettes. There are calls for more regulations at the state and federal level as well. However, many believe it will take litigation in order to force major changes. Court action will at least help victims be awarded compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured by vaping or e-cigarette devices, you could be eligible for damages. These may include:
- Medical bills and related expenses
- Prescription drug expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
When companies sell products to consumers, they are required to warn them of known risks. Failure to do so could result in serious injuries or deaths. Critics have accused the vaping industry of failing to provide users with adequate safety warnings. This may expose vaping companies to significant liability.
A Product Defect or Personal Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help
Lawsuits involving defective or dangerous products are difficult. But for many victims, they hold the promise of potential compensation for their injuries. An attorney may be able to help if you’ve been hurt by vaping or e-cigarette devices. Contact an attorney that handles mass tort cases today to explore your legal rights and get the assistance you need.