Vaping was once viewed as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Many older smokers switched to electronic cigarettes to kick the habit. Millions of younger people – even teenagers who never smoked before – started vaping.
Companies that produce vaping products tout their product as safe. Evidence shows the habit can lead to serious lung damage and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked an alarming rise in the number of illnesses and fatalities caused by vaping. As of late November, there were 2,290 cases of vaping-related illnesses and 47 deaths, including two fatalities with one in New York, according to The New York Times’ Vaping Illness Tracker. An illness or death may give rise to a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the vaping product.
A government warning about e-cigarettes
The CDC issued a warning about vaping in September, according to NBC News. The federal agency recommends that everyone avoid vaping devices until investigators determine what is causing so many people to get sick.
The New York Times reports that several marijuana products have been linked to illness. According to the New York State Department of Health, tests revealed very high levels of vitamin E acetate in almost all of the analyzed samples of products with cannabis. Vitamin E acetate is a skin oil that doctors say should not be inhaled. It’s used to dilute THC before being sold.
According to the Times, brands with the most reported illnesses by users include Dank Vapes (a product containing THC) and JUUL, a nicotine product.
Signs of vaping-related illness
Doctors have seen similarities among people who have become ill after vaping:
- Patients are admitted to emergency rooms.
- Symptoms that mimic respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, flu or pneumonia: shortness of breath, nausea, fever, cough, and vomiting.
- Patients receive treatment but symptoms get worse and reach the point where they have trouble breathing.
People who get sick from vaping experience lung problems that are detected through imaging, according to the NBC report. Most of the patients are not long-term smokers who started vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. They tend to be young without any other health problems. According to The New York Times, 70 percent of vaping-illness patients are men, and two-thirds are between 18-34 years old.
What to do if you or a loved one experienced vaping illness
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with lung damage due to vaping, contact an experienced product liability attorney. You should not have to pay out of your pocket to cover health expenses, lost time from work and other losses because a company sold you a dangerous product.
Contact Cherundolo Law Firm today in Syracuse for a free case consultation.