You might think that vaping is better for you because you’re not smoking cigarettes. You may have even started vaping as a safe way to quit smoking.
Except you seem to hear a lot about vaping-related injury and hospitalization. More and more lawsuits are being filed against vape manufacturing companies.
From toxic chemicals to exploding cartridges – it turns out e-cigarettes are not without risks.
If you didn’t know about the dangerous side of vaping, you’re not the only one. Because these products are new, health research and laws are only now catching up. In fact, the FDA does not consider any e-cigarette safe or effective for smokers who are trying to quit. Some cartridges have even higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes.
Injuries have occurred across the United States. Vaping companies like JUUL are being sued for false advertising and kid-friendly marketing.
These cases involve not just nicotine but also cannabis products, including CBD vapes, THC cartridges, and synthetic cannabinoids like K2. Many of the incidents have happened to otherwise healthy people of all ages.
So what do you do if you’ve been affected by these products?
The first step is to get informed. The second is to get a strong advocate on your side. You can reach an experienced personal injury lawyer at Harlan Law by calling (619) 870-0802.
What Are the Health Risks of Vaping?
Health experts worry that substances in e-liquids may harm human cells or contain dangerous chemicals. To make things worse, counterfeit products make it hard to tell which chemicals are causing the problem. And “pop-up” shops may sell tainted products with illegal additives.
If you’re a vape or e-cigarette user, keep an eye out for unexplained breathing problems or lung injury. Symptoms of severe lung disease from vaping could include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
The high levels of nicotine found in e-cigarettes can also cause seizures.
In recent cases, emergency patients had to be admitted to the hospital for weeks, sometimes in the intensive care unit or on ventilators – even when they had no history of pulmonary issues.
Vaping-related injuries can be hard to identify and treat. They may be misdiagnosed as common lung infections and then develop into more serious complications.
Both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are looking into the side effects of these vaping liquids.
What Does Vaping Do to Your Lungs?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report in 2018 that reviewed over 800 studies. They concluded that:
- E-cigarettes contain potentially toxic substances
- Using e-cigarettes causes health risks
- The more ingredients you inhale, the greater the risk
Some of the most harmful ingredients include:
- Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, the two primary ingredients in e-cigarettes found to be toxic to cells
- Chemicals like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde that can cause lung or heart disease (formaldehyde is a known carcinogen)
- Acrolein, an herbicide used to kill weeds that can cause severe lung injury, COPD, acute asthma, and lung cancer
- Chemical flavorings like diacetyl, which is linked to serious lung disease
- Benzene, which also occurs in car exhaust
- Heavy metals like lead, nickel, and tin
- Flavorings like cinnamon that can cause inflammation of the lung cells
- Particles that settle and accumulate deep in your lungs
Can You Get Lung Cancer from Vaping?
Many people switch from smoking to vaping with the thought of reducing their risk of developing health problems, like lung cancer. But e-cigarettes can expose you to other damaging substances.
Heavy metals, unnatural flavorings, and chemicals like formaldehyde are serious concerns for lung cancer. In some studies, e-cigarette vapor contained cancer-causing formaldehyde at up to a 15 times higher rate than normal cigarettes. Higher-voltage e-cigs produced an even larger amount of formaldehyde-containing chemical compounds.
Can You Get Popcorn Lung from Vaping?
Diacetyl is a buttery flavoring used in e-cigarette cartridges in the United States. It’s been linked to a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung.
What Is Popcorn Lung Disease?
Popcorn lung disease got its name when workers at a popcorn packaging factory got sick from breathing in the chemical diacetyl. As a result, some manufacturers stopped using diacetyl for flavoring. But despite being banned in Europe, diacetyl is still used in e-cigarettes in the US.
Common flavors that contain diacetyl:
- Fruit flavors
- Candy flavors
- Alcohol and cocktail flavors
Diacetyl irritates, inflames, and scars the air sacs in your lungs. As a result, your air passages become thick and narrow, making it harder for you to get enough air. The chemical acetaldehyde also causes popcorn lung and damages your mouth, throat, and stomach.
These substances can cause serious health consequences for vape and e-cig users. Symptoms of popcorn lung include a dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, headache, fatigue, fever, and other health problems.
Popcorn lung disease can leave permanent damage, so you want to catch it early to keep it from getting worse. Your doctor can scan your chest with CT scans and X-rays to see how well your lungs are working. Ultimately, you’ll have to get a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis.
JUUL Class Action Lawsuit 2018-2019
You may have used a JUUL product yourself. Since its creation in 2015, the JUUL e-cigarette has become the most popular product on the market.
The JUUL is a small vape pen that doesn’t smell like cigarettes. Its discreet design makes it easy to hide. Flavors like mango, watermelon, and creme brulee make the JUUL appealing to kids. So much so that “JUULing” has become a popular term for vaping with JUUL products.
Because vape pens have been advertised as a safer alternative to cigarettes, adults and children alike are more likely to try them. And because the nicotine levels are so high, e-cigarettes and vape pens are much more addictive than people realize.
As a result, the United States is experiencing an epidemic of youth and teen vaping.
Hundreds of personal injury and false advertising claims have been filed – even class action lawsuits. Until the law catches up, these issues will continue to be litigated in court.
Exploding JUUL Pods
Most e-cigarettes are powered by lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have a history of exploding in both e-cigs and other devices like cellphones.
JUUL pods can explode both while you’re using the product and while charging. Some have even exploded in transport or storage. Because people hold the JUUL so close to their face, some of these incidents have caused severe personal injuries and even death.
You can read more about the dangers of exploding vapes by clicking here.
Filing a Vape Related Lawsuit
There’s a lot to be concerned about when it comes to e-cigarettes. The amount of information out there can be overwhelming.
On top of that, your injuries or symptoms may be scary and confusing. They may make it difficult for you to function in daily life. Hospital bills can also become impossible to pay.
It’s important to protect yourself and fight for your rights when you’re in a vulnerable position. This is especially true when you’re up against a corporation with many more resources than you. Get your health checked by a doctor and talk to a lawyer about your legal options today. It’s important with a vaping injury to act fast.
Harlan Law is a San Diego-based firm that handles personal injury claims with the empathy and vigilance that you deserve. Call us at 619-870-0802 to schedule your first, free consultation today.