The Vaping Outbreak Continues
Attorney Michael S. Burg, shareholder, and founder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, was recently interviewed by KOA Radio about the outbreak of pulmonary issues related to vaping. He said: “Not only are people who vape risking serious injuries to their lungs, but the companies who are manufacturing, marketing, and distributing vaping devices are likely to face lawsuits for promoting these dangerous and addictive products to children.”
Click here to hear Mike Burg’s recent interview about vaping on KOA.
The FDA Evaluation
As of September 24, 2019, the outbreak of severe pulmonary disease has taken the lives of 9 individuals and affected more than 400 people in 36 states. According to the most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials have responded by sending samples of vaping products to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis. The FDA is currently evaluating the samples for a range of chemicals, including THC, nicotine, and Vitamin E, but the results are still inconclusive.
Vaping Becoming More Prevalent Among Teenagers
Although the cause of the recent outbreak is yet unknown, electronic cigarettes have been on the U.S. market since 2007, and “vaping” has increased substantially in recent years. Vaping is the term that refers to the inhalation of the aerosol vapor created from the liquid that is heated inside an e-cigarette or other battery-powered devices. Most vape liquids contain a combination of ingredients that include a glycerin base, and nicotine, marijuana, or flavored chemicals. Vaping is a trend that is especially prevalent among adolescents, and E-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product among teenagers.
Juul is the Device of Choice
Juul is currently the most popular e-cigarette vaping device with America’s youth. Juul Labs, Inc. is an electronic cigarette company which spun off from Pax Labs in 2017. The company makes the Juul e-cigarette, which packages nicotine salts from leaf tobacco into one-time use cartridges.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the value of JUUL Labs, which was founded in 2015, has skyrocketed the last two years. The Juul became the most popular e-cigarette in the United States at the end of 2017 and had a market share of 72% as of September 2018. Altria Group Inc., which sells Marlboro cigarettes in the U.S., purchased 35 percent of the business in December of 2018, bringing the current value of Juul to $38 billion.
Although Juul has historically pitched its devices as a way to help smokers quit and saying e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, critics report that the vapor can contain up to three times the nicotine concentration of traditional cigarettes.
The Risks Associated with E-Cigarettes
The widespread use of e-cigarettes by young people has triggered concern from the public health community and multiple investigations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has stated that current research indicates that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached epidemic proportions.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can also contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients that include:
- Harmful particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
- Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.
- Volatile organic compounds.
- Toxic metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
- Vitamin E
During a recent media briefing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised people to avoid e-cigarettes while federal and state officials investigate a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a vaping device, contact one of our experienced product liability attorneys at Burg Simpson today. Our award-winning attorneys would be happy to discuss your potential claim. Call us at 303 792-5595 today.