The rise of e-cigarettes and vaping devices has given rise to the false narrative that there is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. In addition to e-cigarette explosions, those who use vaping devices are risk of developing serious lung injuries. Early adoption of these devices, called electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), occurred primarily in two groups: 1) those wanting to quit smoking and 2) those who liked the flavored options. As of 2019, vaping is especially popular among teens and young adults. As the number of vaping-related lung injury cases grows, so too does public concern. If you or a loved one suffered lung damage from vaping, contact a Vaping Lung Injury Lawsuit Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm.
The concept of e-cigarettes has been around since 1927. However, the e-cig, as we know it today, hit the American market in 2007. The vaping industry may be new compared to the old tobacco industry, however, product liability law is not. The Carlson Law Firm has been representing victims of corporate negligence for more than 40 years. There are several laws in place that protect consumers from dangerous products.
If you were diagnosed with a lung injury after vaping, call The Carlson Law Firm today.
Is vaping safe?
No, vaping is not safe. And vaping has never been safe. However, one of the early marketing tactics of the vaping industry was to imply that the use of these products was safe because they contained FDA-approved ingredients. Many of the vaping lung injury lawsuits stem from the misleading ads that left users with nicotine addictions and other health issues. Notably, while vape juice contains fewer toxic chemicals than more traditional cigarettes, they still contain cancer-causing chemicals, as well as chemicals that may not be safe for inhalation.
Further, there is an inherent danger based on the newness of the product. It’s difficult to say what long-term dangers or public health concerns will ultimately come out of e-cigarettes. This is because these devices have not been studied. It is an overstatement to say that ENDS are unregulated. That is not the case. E-cigarettes were subject to the same regulations as other tobacco products until August 8, 2016. However, with the FDA’s new “deeming rule” in place, the agency now has regulatory authority over all ENDS devices, including the following:
- E-liquids (juices)
While the FDA now has the authority to regulate ENDS, this doesn’t make these devices safe. Further, oversight of e-cigarettes means understanding the science of how the ingredients of the juices interact, as well as how they react to being heated.
Vaping Lung Disease
In the summer of 2019, hundreds of people across at least 33 states have fallen ill with a mysterious lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently investigating more than 450 cases of the potentially life-threatening disease linked to vaping. The agency says that the disease is not contagious but instead believes that the disease is the result of chemicals used in e-cigarettes, or vaping devices. However, they have yet to identify the specific substance linked to the illness. At least five people from five different states have died from the unknown respiratory illness. Cases of the disease have been reported in the following states:
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Which devices are linked to vaping pulmonary disease?
The CDC has warned there are no consistent e-cigarette products that have been linked to the disease. Users have reported falling ill after using both marijuana and nicotine products. The agency is still unclear about what is causing the illness and is testing for a broad range of chemicals.
What could potentially be the cause of vaping lung disease?
On September 6, 2019, the University of Utah released a press release explaining that doctors identified a potential cause for the illness. Patients have large immune cells containing numerous oily droplets called lipid-laden macrophages.
Further, New York state and FDA labs told officials that they found vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E in marijuana vaping products. Vitamin E is a sticky and oily substance that needs to be heated to extreme heat in order to be vaporized. According to experts, when a person inhales the substance into their lungs, the temperature of their lungs is lower than the temperature needed to keep it a vapor. As a result, the substance returns to its oily state and sits in the lungs. This leads to the shortness of breath, lung damage and respiratory illness seen in patients. While vitamin E has become the focus of the state of New York’s investigation, FDA officials stress that no one substance has been linked to the growing number of illnesses.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN E-CIGARETTES AND CIGARETTES
For decades, American health officials saw a decline in tobacco product use. However, with the advent of e-cigarettes and pod-based products like JUUL, tobacco use has seen a rapid resurgence in children and young adults. E-cigarettes and cigarettes are two totally different products and as such cannot be regulated the same way. E-cigarettes are powered by a battery and deliver nicotine through a liquid (juice) that vaporizes once heated. To this day, there is no standard for the chemicals that can or should be used in these devices.
This lack of regulation presents another challenge. Researchers are unable to come to a singular conclusion on the dangers of e-cigarettes because juices vary widely. In fact, researchers identified “about 400 different models of vaping devices and 8,000 or so chemical flavor names used in various e-cigarette fluids.” Further, some of the most popular refill fluids contained between 22 to 47 flavoring chemicals. The chemicals can cause cell damage and suppress immune responses. In addition, the heating process in e-cigarettes can drastically change the composition of potentially harmful chemicals.
It’s still unclear why the federal government was so slow to move toward guidelines regulating e-cigarettes. But it is this lack of urgency that led to the 18 deaths and thousands of injuries from vaping lung injury.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries lung injuries after vaping, consult a vaping lung injury attorney. The Carlson Law Firm has the resources to guide you through the legal process in your vaping lung injury lawsuit.
WHAT IS VAPE JUICE MADE OF?
Vape juice, or e-juice, is the fluid used in ENDS to create the vapor that users inhale and exhale. These juices can contain a variety of ingredients and come in a wide array of flavors. Most often, vape juices include the following ingredients:
- Propylene glycol
- Vegetable glycerin
- Food flavoring
In addition, vape juice can contain nicotine or THC. Further, the food-grade flavoring is the same as those used in ketchup, ice cream and salad dressings. It’s important to note that while food-grade flavoring is often FDA-approved, it is not approved for inhalation.
The vaping industry was largely unregulated until 2016. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that took effect that year didn’t do much to add transparency to the industry overall.
WHAT IS THE VAPING BLACK MARKET?
There are a lot of videos on YouTube that take users through a step by step process of how to make their own juice. And if the flavor isn’t enough, there is plenty of other content available that teaches users how to add THC or nicotine to their vape juice mix. Many of the victims of the vaping lung injuries claim that they purchased black market THC products. There is a large market for THC products—many of those products come from China.
Dank vapes are widely known in the cannabis community. However, Dank is not a legal, licensed brand. In fact, Dank is not even a product brand at all. Dank products may look legal, but they’re actually a counterfeit brand. The packaging of these boxes contains homemade vape juices that can come from many different sources or distributors.
These products don’t look different from what you can buy in a legal dispensary. However, these products can be purchased on online forums like Craigslist.
Products in the legal cannabis market are tested for safety and purity. This doesn’t mean that they are completely free of danger. For example, legal cannabis may contain pesticides, heavy metals and other dangerous contaminants used to “cut” the purity.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF VAPING LUNG ILLNESS?
Because vaping is so new, and the illness currently affecting thousands of people is so new, researchers are having difficulty pinpointing the exact cause of the illness. Investigators are looking at several parts of END systems to determine the connection between vaping and lung illness. The parts include the following:
- Cartridges or pods
- Type of product and device
- Heating methods and inhaling
- Sharing or reusing old equipment
If you or a loved one suffered a vape lung injury, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified vaping lung injury attorney ready to take your call.
WHAT ARE THE LUNG INJURIES ASSOCIATED WITH VAPING?
Inhalation of any chemical can cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease, no matter the source. There have been a number of illnesses associated with vaping devices or e-cigarettes. For example, e-cigarette use is associated with the following conditions:
- Lung cancer
Many mistakenly believe that these are conditions associated with traditional cigarettes. However, this is not the case. Any inhalation of chemicals can lead to significant damage in the lungs.
Vaping Lung Injury Resembles Chemical burns
While early reports linked the vaping injury disease to vitamin E and other thickeners, experts now say that this isn’t likely the cause. Public health organizations began warning about the dangers of vaping years before the recent outbreak of vaping lung injury. The concern around ENDS has always been the lack of regulation and the lack of transparency as to what is actually in the vaping juice. Reports began surfacing in August 2019 that was a connection between a mystery lung illness and vaping.
If you were injured by Juul or another vaping company, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We can help you file a Juul lawsuit or vaping lung injury lawsuit and get you the compensation you deserve.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS RELATED TO VAPING LUNG DISEASE?
Most instances of the disease have been seen in teenagers and young adults—because they are more likely to use vaping devices. The vaping lung illness can look like viral or bacterial pneumonia, but those tests come back negative. Patients with vaping lung injury report the following symptoms:
- dry cough
- check pain
- shortness of breath
- abdominal pain
- body aches
- night sweats
It is important to note, that because of their relative newness, the full effects of e-cigarettes and vaping devices is largely unknown. These devices are largely unregulated, including the substances used in them. In fact, until mid-2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not regulate e-cigarettes or vaping devices. Nor were they subject to age requirements under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. While the ingredients used may be FDA approved for food products, but whether or not they are safe for inhalation has not been investigated.
CAN I FILE A VAPE LUNG INJURY LAWSUIT?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1,080 known cases associated with e-cigarette use or vaping. These lung injuries are reported in 48 states and 1 U.S. territory. Further, there have been 18 deaths confirmed in 15 states. A majority of these patients report a history of using THC products. The Carlson Law Firm is investigating vape lung injury lawsuit claims. We can help you determine who you may file a lawsuit against to assist in your recovery.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation for your vaping lung injury lawsuit.
THE CARLSON LAW FIRM CAN HELP WITH A LUNG INJURY LAWSUIT
If you or a loved one is living a vape lung injury, contact a Carlson Law Firm. A vaping lung injury lawsuit might be the best remedy for your situation. A qualified e-cigarette injury attorney from our firm can help you navigate the American legal system to get the kind of recovery you deserve. You do not have to face your injuries alone. Contact our firm at your earliest convenience to handle your situation with one of our firm’s resources. We are available to you 24/7.
We have 12 locations across Texas and our personal injury attorneys ready to take your call. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.