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Prim Law Firm is currently representing individuals, and their families, who have suffered injuries related to the use of electronic cigarettes. These damages include not only lung illness and death, but severe addiction and the affects it has on the user’s daily function and family life.
E-cigarettes are devices that operate by heating a liquid solution to a high enough temperature to produce an aerosol to be inhaled. These solutions (or e-liquids) contain high levels of nicotine along with chemicals for flavoring and creating the aerosol. The makers of e-cigarettes such as JUUL advertised their product as a safe alternative to cigarettes. This does not appear to be true. In fact, while some of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes had FDA approval for oral consumption, the health consequences of inhalation had not been investigated. As the use of e-cigarettes had risen over the past few years, so too has the number of reported lung and cardiovascular injuries reported. Researchers are continually updating the list of injuries associated with the chemicals found in e-cigarettes.
Like traditional smoking, e-cigarette use has been linked with chronic cough and bronchitis as well as asthma. The aerosol created by the vapor cause injuries to airways of the lungs. Research in mice have shown the potential for cancer as a result of exposure to e-cigarette aerosol. Chemicals used in e-cigarettes to create the aerosol have been linked to plaque buildup in arteries causing clots and reduced blood flow. There are no health benefits associated with these products.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine at a level at or above traditional combustible cigarettes. And the design of e-cigarettes allows for a modified delivery on nicotine to the user. By using nicotine salts, the nicotine is delivered with less irritation than traditional cigarettes meaning your body does not recognize the level as being high. As a result, nicotine is delivered at a much higher rate. Each pod contains the same amount of nicotine as 1-2 packs of traditional cigarettes. This high level of nicotine leads to severe addiction, particularly in teenagers and young adults.
The addictive nature of traditional cigarettes is something we all know and appreciate. E-cigarettes have been redesigned by their makers so as to deliver nicotine at or above the rate of traditional cigarettes. Research has shown the young people, under the age of 25, are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction and their key brain receptors are still forming. Studies show that young people will develop an addiction to nicotine by being exposed to 5mg of nicotine per day, which is roughly ¼ of an e-cigarette pod.
The past several years has seen an enormous spike in youth e-cigarette use. At a time in history where the smoking rate among teenagers was making a decline, the e-cigarette culture has created an epidemic. Studies show over ¼ of high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past month. One in ten children in middle school have used these dangerous products. The makers of these products used flavors like mango, mint or bubble gum to attract younger uses, while at the same time using young people in advertisements and social media. JUUL, the leader in e-cigarette sales, spent of $1 million to market its products on the internet, twitter, Instagram and YouTube. It turns out the many of the leading producers of e-cigarettes are either wholly owned or partially owned by traditional cigarette manufacturers like Phillip Morris or R.J. Reynolds. As a result of this massive advertising campaign over the past several years, thousands of youth are now addicted to nicotine and the use of e-cigarettes or other products. These addictions lead to issues with health, schoolwork, sports and their ability to lead a normal and productive life.
What we are left with is largely unregulated industry making a product with high levels of nicotine and dangerous chemicals whose usage among young people continues to rapidly escalate. While the final determination on the dangers of e-cigarettes vs. traditional cigarettes may no be fully know for several years, the idea that e-cigarettes are safe is clearly not true.
If you or someone you know have been injured or suffered a life-altering addiction due to their use of electronic cigarettes, please reach out to our office for a free consultation. We are exploring the legal liability of the manufacturers and distributors of these products and will explore what amount of damages, if any, you may be due.