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Times have changed since watching Hollywood stars puff cigarettes on the big screen and parents lighting up in the living room. Overall, the use of traditional cigarettes and tobacco products has fallen out of fashion, dropping 68% among adults. However, there is a new enemy threatening the health of lungs in teens and adults: e-cigarettes. Thousands of vaping lung injury lawsuits against manufacturers, such as Juul, claim that vaping led to serious conditions such as seizures, serious lung injuries, disease and strokes. These lawsuits claim that the high levels of nicotine in the fluids not only led to addiction but worsened health dangers.
The rise in e-cigarette use in teens and young adults in the most recent years has landed hundreds of young people in the hospital for vaping-related illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarette use rates rose from nearly zero in 2011 to almost 29% in 2019. Just about anywhere, you can catch people puffing out clouds of flavors vapors.
E-cigarette companies claim their products are intended for use by individuals who smoke that want to have a safer alternative to cigarettes or want to take steps to stop smoking. However, the industry uses marketing tactics that seem to be targeted to adolescents with social media campaigns, candy—or other food-like—flavors and packaging that may interest youth. As a result of its marketing, the vape industry has created a generation of young people addicted to nicotine.
Why are vape lawsuits being filed?
Many of the lawsuits filed against Juul claim that the company’s marketing targeted minors. Further, these same youth who were duped into using these products with the promise of a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes suffered serious injuries. Lawsuits against Juul claim the following:
- Juul marketed in a way that attracted minors.
- The company promoted nicotine use.
- Its marketing failed to warn that its products were more potent and addictive than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
- The products were unreasonably dangerous and defective.
In addition to questionable marketing, these products created dangerous health conditions for users. For example, lawsuits against Juul and other e-cigarette companies claim that users experience serious lung injuries, seizures, disease and strokes. In fact, it’s alleged that the high nicotine levels in these devices led to addiction and worsening health dangers.
Health risks of vaping
Vaping is the practice of inhaling an aerosol created by heating a liquid or wax containing substances, such as nicotine, cannabinoids (such as THC), additives, and flavorings such as glycol, glycerol, and flavored nicotine. There are many devices this aerosol, including battery-operated electronic cigarettes, vape pens, or vape mods.
Many users have reported a gradual start of symptoms such as:
- Breathing difficulty
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhea and vomiting
- Other symptoms such as fevers and fatigue
In addition to these symptoms, you run the chance of developing EVALI, popcorn lung, or death.
What is EVALI?
EVALI is an inflammatory response in the lungs triggered by inhaled substances. However, because of the vast range of products and the many different ingredients, EVALI varies. It may vary as pneumonia, damage to tiny air sacs in the lungs, or an inflammatory reaction called fibrinous pneumonitis.
It is currently hard to confirm a diagnosis of EVALI because there is no simple lab test for it. As of now, doctors are diagnosing based on symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Damaged Lung with vitamin E acetate
You may be more at risk of the product you’re vaping contains vitamin E acetate. The CDC says that it’s the common chemical found in the lungs of people that have gotten sick. Vitamin E is used to thicken liquids, particularly in vaping and e-cigarette products that contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. The substance has been acknowledged by the CDC due to its ability to remain in the lungs for long periods of time and can cause complications to the lungs.
What is “popcorn lung”?
Popcorn lung is a term for a type of lung disease where the tiniest airways called bronchioles are inflamed. The term was given its name after factory workers developed the condition after being exposed to the chemical diacetyl, which adds buttery flavoring to food, a potential component in e-cigarettes.
When heated and inhaled for long periods of time, it may result in airway damage. Inflammation in the lungs leads to a buildup of scar tissue that blocks and destroys airways.
The effects of popcorn lungs are irreversible. While some medications can slow the scar build-up, there are no treatments that will remove the scars.
Who can file a vape lung injury lawsuit?
The Food and Drug Administration didn’t implement regulations governing electronic cigarettes until 2016. The FDA is investigating the marketing practices of e-cigarettes manufacturers. The investigation is to determine if manufacturers were involved in deceptive practices and failed to warn about vaping dangers.
People diagnosed with addiction, severe lung conditions, seizures, or strokes after vaping may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the company that made the e-cigarettes they used. It is advised that if you plan on pursuing a case, you should preserve the e-cigarette device, in addition to the vaping fluids. Legal claims that may be brought up include negligence, product liability. The damages that may be recovered include compensations and punitive damages depending on the severity of the companies involved with manufacturing or selling the product.
In addition, if you or a loved one has suffered a vaping lung injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. If you have suffered a loss of a loved one, you may be able to file a lawsuit of wrongful death lawsuit.
What is the status of vape lawsuits?
The latest information shows that there are approximately 758 Juul lawsuits in the United States combined in multidistrict litigation. A growing number of plaintiffs are represented in both class action lawsuits and individual personal injury lawsuits. The Carlson Law Firm is representing those who suffered vaping lung injuries in individual injury lawsuits.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we care
Vape companies had a duty to make their products safe for use. These same companies continue to promote their products as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, even as more people continue to lose their lives. If you have suffered a vaping lung injury, contact our office today to speak to an attorney about your legal options. You aren’t alone, and we can help.