Dangers of Vaping: Mysterious Lung Illnesses
In 2017, the market for e-cigarettes in the United States alone grew 40%, becoming a $1.16 billion industry, but vaping has been met with a lot of controversy along the way. E-cigarette manufacturers have been criticized over their marketing practices, accusing them of targeting their products to teens and young adults. By September 2018, vaping had become so popular among teens that the FDA called teen vaping an epidemic. In some cases, defective e-cigarettes have made headlines for exploding and injuring users. And recently, e-cigarettes have been in the news over reports of health issues caused by vaping.
Debate over health claims related to vaping has already been going on for a while. Some e-cigarette manufacturers have been criticized for using marketing that suggests their products are safer than other types of tobacco products. In reality, e-cigarettes contain high amounts of addictive nicotine. The CDC states that while e-cigarettes can potentially benefit adult smokers who are looking for a substitute for regular cigarettes, they are not safe for teens or young adults and scientists still have a lot to learn about the long-term effects of vaping. However, recent reports about people experiencing lung illnesses related to vaping has brought greater scrutiny to the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping.
In September 2019, Michigan became the first state in the country to ban flavored vaping products in response to the growth of vaping among teens and young adults and reports that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was investigating cases of vaping-related lung illnesses. The cases in Michigan were part of hundreds of reports of vaping-related illnesses that had been reported nationwide at that point.
As the number of illness reports grew, some major retailers decided to stop selling e-cigarettes while some states have decided to temporarily ban all types of e-cigarettes. By the end of September 2019, 1,080 cases of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes and 21 deaths had been reported. But the big question still remains: what exactly is causing all of these illnesses?
Following the vaping-injury related death of a Michigan resident, the Detroit Free Press quoted a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as saying, “We still don’t have any clear information as to what is causing this so far…This is definitely something new.” Because of this, some agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration have issued statements advising people to stop vaping until a cause has been determined.
Out of all the cases nationwide, they haven’t been linked to a specific brand of e-cigarette or e-liquid. However, the CDC reports that about 75% of all of these reported cases involved people who had been vaping marijuana products or marijuana products mixed with nicotine. Health officials on national and statewide levels have been working together to identify the exact ingredients that are making people sick.
Because of all the uncertainty surrounding the illnesses being caused by e-cigarettes, it’s very important to get in touch with a product liability lawyer as soon as possible if you believe you’ve been injured by using them. They will be able to help answer questions about your situation and can work with you to figure out your legal options. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to speak to lawyers who are experienced in handling cases involving consumer product safety laws. Contact us today to get started.