An e-cigarette uses a battery to heat up a liquid that is turned into an aerosol, which users inhale. The liquid is most commonly nicotine with additives such as propylene glycol, flavorings, and other chemicals. Inhaling these products can have serious enough consequences, but the heating process itself forms additional toxic chemicals. Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead and a variety of carcinogens have been found in the vapors produced by e-cigarettes.
Lung injury is so common it has earned the term EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury). In a period of just two years ending in 2019, 1,479 lung injury cases in 49 states and 33 deaths in 24 states were documented by the CDC due to “vaping” (called this because of the vapors the products produce). By February 2020, 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths had been reported to the CDC from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, including 68 deaths.
Injuries from e-cigarettes
The following injuries have been reported from vaping:
- Nicotine addiction
- Lung disease and respiratory failure
- Seizures in young adults
- Heart damage and heart attacks
- Pregnancy complications and birth defects
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mental health issues and behavioral changes
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Injuries from the explosion of cartridges
What makes Juul different
It is illegal to market nicotine products to an underage audience. While Juul argues it was not their intention, legal decisions have determined that, in effect, that is what they did. They have since changed their marketing tactics, but the damage has been done to many young people. What did Juul do to draw so many minors into using their product?
First, the flavors: fruit medley, mango, cool cucumber, and crème brûlée. In a 2016 study, a third of middle and high school students who used nicotine products said the flavor was their main reason. Next, its size. Most e-cigarettes are fairly obvious, but a Juul looks like a USB drive, and it can be charged with a USB port. It’s easy to conceal, and even easy to hide in plain sight since most parents wouldn’t recognize it. Finally, it doesn’t produce a cloud of vapor like some other e-cigarettes, therefore it’s easy to smoke in public without being noticed. Finally, Juul is highly addictive. A single Juul pod delivers as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes.
Personal injury lawsuits against e-cigarette companies and Juul
Many state and local governments are putting limitations and outright bans on vaping products in a response to the explosion of addiction and injury, especially among young people. Many lawsuits are proceeding against the manufacturers, especially Juul, for their dangerous products.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to vaping, you may be able to receive compensation for any of the following:
- Medical costs, current and future
- Mental and emotional damage or distress
- Lost wages and decreased earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Other expenses, such as necessary changes to your home to accommodate your injuries
- Loss of companionship in the case of serious permanent injury or death
As a Florida personal injury lawyer, I am committed to helping Florida residents throughout the state receive just and fair compensation to help them cope with the injuries they have sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence. I know how to go up against large, powerful companies and businesses and get you what you deserve. Contact me to see how I can help you.