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The Dangers of E-Cigarettes

So-called e-cigarettes have become the most recent product to be marketed as a safer alternative to regular smoking. However, these devices, which tend to target young adults, were put on the market with no safety testing. They work through an electronic heating process, which creates a vapor from either liquid nicotine or other flavored liquids. Although harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes are supposedly absent from e-cigarettes, other dangerous toxicants are still found in the makeup of these e-liquids, such as formaldehyde, diacetyl and propylene glycol.  

In addition to those dangerous chemicals, e-cigarettes have been known to explode or catch fire due to their reliance on lithium-ion batteries. From 2009 through 2016, the U.S. Fire Administration reported 195 electronic cigarette explosions or fires.  

If you have suffered an illness or injury caused by an e-cigarette, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who will launch a thorough investigation. The attorneys at Tracey & Fox possess a wealth of legal knowledge and take pride in helping Texas consumers seek the justice they deserve. Contact us today to discuss your options.

Usage & Target Audiences

Created in China in 2003, e-cigarettes were introduced to the American market in 2007. Motivations for using an e-cigarette range from attempting to quit smoking to the perception it is a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and their known public health risks. There is also a recreational component; these devices are often used with flavored liquid such as menthol, chocolate and more.  

Unregulated marketing, Big Tobacco’s entry in the marketplace and the sustained belief that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes has made the targeted marketing audience teenagers and young adults. In a national survey of American teens, more than 6 out of 10 believe there was little, if any, harm in moderate usage of e-cigarettes.  

American middle and high school students have lighted on this trend more than any other age group. One company named Juul is so popular it has spawned a verb, ‘Juuling’. For a generation defined by their online presence, Juul is both the prop and the vice. Part of the device’s marketing is its appearance. The product does not look like a cigarette; it resembles a flash drive. This has led schools to ban flash drives to assist in combatting the problem.  

Injuries & Health Effects

In May of 2018, a Florida man was killed by projectiles from his exploding vape pen. It also caused a small fire in his home. The distributor of the pen said their devices do not explode, but they were aware of companies’ cloning their batteries which leads to decreased safety. Many devices rely on lithium-ion batteries, which have a low failure rate, but the results are often catastrophic when failure does occur. 

In addition to the risk of burns, e-cigarettes also cause lung damage. Bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as “popcorn lung,” is a disease whose symptoms mirror those of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The name popcorn lung originated from popcorn factory workers inflicted with the disease due to breathing in diacetyl. This artificial flavoring was removed from popcorn, but the product is now used to complement flavors in e-liquid for e-cigarettes. Popcorn lung is irreversible. 

If you or someone you know has been injured by an e-cigarette, call the attorneys of Tracey & Fox today.

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