Since e-cigarettes hit the market, companies have marketed these devices (also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDs) to the public as safe alternatives to tobacco use and as effective aids for quitting tobacco.
However, the e-cigarette companies’ marketing messages for their devices don’t tell the full story. E-cigarettes have been shown to cause severe harm to the respiratory system, and very little legitimate research exists to support the claim that they help people quit using tobacco. And e-cigarette batteries frequently malfunction and explode or catch fire, which can lead to severe burns and other long-lasting injuries.
The History of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
E-cigarettes arrived on the U.S. market in 2007 and took off in a big way: by 2016, 43% of all worldwide ENDS sales occurred in the United States.
During that first decade of e-cigarette sales, the FDA seemed to accept companies’ argument that e-cigarettes offered a safe alternative to traditional nicotine use, and the agency didn’t publicly dispute the idea that vaping helped with smoking cessation. And before 2016, few public health experts discussed whether e-cigarettes might entice younger people to start using nicotine.
Things have changed in recent years, as hundreds of Americans have filed lawsuits alleging e-cigarettes damaged their respiratory systems. Hundreds more victims have filed claims after faulty e-cigarette batteries left them with burns and other severe injuries. Today, the FDA is finally getting involved and creating new regulations regarding the production, marketing, and sales of ENDSs, but the e-cigarette manufacturers are fighting hard to stay unregulated.
The Dangers of E-Cigarettes
Most public health experts agree that the vapor from e-cigarettes probably causes less harm to the airway and lungs than tobacco smoke. However, the problem with e-cigarettes is that the industry exploited this “safer” image to stay almost completely unregulated until the summer of 2016.
Before 2016, hundreds of e-cigarette companies created thousands of flavors to market to all cross-sections of American society with virtually no rules in place. When studies began to surface showing the connection between ENDS use and serious respiratory illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, and popcorn lung (a persistent condition caused by diacetyl in certain ENDS product flavors and characterized by consistent coughing and wheezing), the FDA had no choice but to finally step in, begin investigating the industry, and implement regulations.
The hazardous nature of many e-cigarette batteries has added additional urgency to the need to regulate e-cigarettes. Many e-cigarettes still on the market today can inflict immediate and severe harm when their batteries overheat and explode. Hundreds of people have suffered permanent harm and disfigurement to their hands and faces due to e-cigarette battery malfunctions, and this trend is likely to continue until the FDA ensures the development of truly safe vaping products.
How Do I File an Injury Claim for E-Cigarette-Related Injuries and Illnesses?
There are two types of lawsuits currently being filed by victims of e-cigarette use. The first is against the vaping device manufacturers for knowingly designing, marketing, and selling devices that can cause serious injuries and even blindness. Consumers have a right to expect that companies take reasonable safety measures throughout the design, manufacturing, and distribution of any product sold on the open market, and many e-cigarette companies have clearly failed to live up to their obligations to consumers. If you have been injured as a direct result of an overheating or exploding e-cigarette battery, you likely have a strong case against the manufacturer of your device, and you should contact a skilled and experienced personal injury and product liability attorney for a case evaluation.
The other type of lawsuit commonly being filed is also against the manufacturers for their failure to adequately warn users about the long-term effects of using their products, especially those products that contain hazardous chemicals like diacetyl. E-cigarette manufacturers have always marketed their products as a safe alternative to traditional nicotine use and a reliable way to quit tobacco. We now know that not only can vaping devices cause long-term health problems, but they also provide little to no help for those who want to quit smoking and may even act as a stepping stone that entices young people to take up tobacco use.
Atkins & Markoff: Fighting for Justice on Behalf of E-Cigarette Victims in Oklahoma
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or illness as a result of using an e-cigarette or other ENDS, you have the right to pursue legal action against the manufacturers of these dangerous products. The attorneys and staff at Atkins & Markoff have significant experience litigating personal injury and product liability cases, and our team is dedicated to fighting for justice and fair compensation on behalf of each client.
To schedule your free, no-risk initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call (405) 607-8757 or complete this brief online form. And if you would like to visit our offices for a walk-in appointment, we are located just off Highway 74 on the east side of Lake Hefner.
Compton, K. (2018, October 5). E-cigarette lawsuits. Drugwatch. Retrieved from https://www.drugwatch.com/e-cigarettes/lawsuits/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.