Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are electronic nicotine delivery devices that produce a vapor that resembles smoke. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes typically contain flavored liquid, which makes them appealing to adolescents. These devices are often concealed to look like USB memory sticks or pens. E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular, and the United States now accounts for 43 percent of all worldwide e-cigarette sales. While e-cigarettes were initially marketed as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, the evidence does not support this claim. E-cigarettes have caused a variety of injuries including seizures and bronchiolitis obliterans (“popcorn lung”).
E-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals including diacetyl, which is highly toxic when vaporized. Diacetyl is used as an additive to sweet flavors such as vanilla, maple, and coconut. This dangerous chemical can cause bronchiolitis obliterans, more commonly known as “popcorn lung”. This lung disease gets its name from its previous use as a flavoring in microwave popcorn. When factory workers started getting sick and dying from exposure to diacetyl, major popcorn manufacturers removed this dangerous chemical from their products.
Popcorn lung is a serious and incurable lung disease. It damages the lungs small airways, which causes aggressive coughing and makes it difficult to breathe. If left untreated, popcorn lung can cause complete respiratory collapse and even be fatal. According to a Harvard study, 39 out of 51 e-cigarette brands that were tested contained diacetyl. Unfortunately, the FDA is allowing e-cigarette brands to wait until 2022 to submit their ingredients for review. Meanwhile, potentially dangerous e-cigarette products are allowed to remain on the market.
In April 2019, the FDA announced that e-cigarettes may cause seizures, especially in youth or young adults. The FDA is investigating 35 reports of seizures occurring after e-cigarette use. Seizures are a known side effect of nicotine poisoning and can occur if nicotine is ingested. The leading brand of e-cigarettes, Juul Labs, is made with a high level of nicotine in their products. One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. While the FDA has not made a definitive decision, they are still investigating the potential link to nicotine in these products causing seizures.
Manufacturers of e-cigarettes should be held liable for their product causing harm and injury to their consumers. E-cigarettes should not be marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, when they have so many adverse side effects. Since e-cigarettes are still fairly new, the full extent of their side effects are unknown, however what we have seen so far is terrible.
If you were harmed from an e-cigarette, contact the Law Offices of Rudolph F.X. Migliore. We would love to hear your story and help in any way we can. Our team is here for you throughout the entire lawsuit process. Call us at 631-543-3663 to schedule a free consultation. Our local Long Island office is your point of contact.