Vaping Lawsuit Attorneys
Vaping and Juuling
Vaping is becoming increasingly popular among teens, young people, and other previous non-smokers, exposing them to dangerous doses of nicotine and other chemicals that can produce devastating effects. Years after public education campaigns drove down smoking rates, vape pens, e-cigarettes, and JUUL® devices have made inhaling nicotine cooler and more socially acceptable. This means that many people who never smoked before are now facing serious health risks as a result of their exposure to vaping liquids, many of which contain questionable or potentially harmful ingredients.
If you or your family members have suffered injuries or illnesses caused by vaping, contact The Raimondo Law Firm. Many vaping injuries could have been avoided if JUULs or e-cigarettes were properly labeled with appropriate warnings.
What Is Vaping or Juuling?
JUUL®, a compact e-cigarette or vape, first hit the market in 2015. It has been accompanied by many other e-cigarette devices, many of which have been particularly appealing to teens and young people. While the companies that produce JUUL® and other vapes claim that their devices are intended for adult smokers of cigarettes and other tobacco products – one billion people around the world – in practice, young people and non-smokers are increasingly picking up a JUUL or another vape for a nicotine hit.
By 2017, JUUL® was already worth $5 billion. It is one of several companies, but in the United States, it dominates 75% of the e-cigarette market. Vape shops, vape liquid dealers and vape specialty stores have shot up in communities and on the internet, promoting vape products with targeted social media advertising and prominent marketing.
Unlike cigarettes, JUUL® and other vapes are easily hidden. They produce vapor, sometimes scented, that is quickly dispersed in the air, unlike traditional cigarettes. This leads many people to believe that vaping or Juuling is harmless: after all, the vapor evaporates quickly and does not leave behind a noxious odor. However, there are many potentially harmful chemicals in vapes that lead to nicotine addiction and have caused other serious health problems.
Chemicals in JUULs and E-Cigarettes
While promoted as a way to wean people away from nicotine, JUULs have produced new nicotine addicts. Each JUUL® cartridge contains 40mg of nicotine, a significantly higher amount of nicotine than many competing vape cartridge products. One of the reasons JUUL® has dominated the market so effectively is the higher level of nicotine that it contains. It contains more than twice the concentration of competitive brands. A basic, licensed JUUL® cartridge also contains benzoic acid, flavoring, propylene glycol, and glycerol.
Obviously, nicotine addiction is one serious problem associated with JUUL® and other vapes. Nicotine is highly addictive; some studies compare its level of addictiveness to hard drugs like cocaine. Beyond its addictive potential, nicotine can be particularly harmful to adolescents and teens, because it can inhibit the development of the lungs and the brain at a, particularly critical time.
Many people turn to vapes because they do not contain tar or other dangerous byproducts found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, the other ingredients in a JUUL® cartridge are not necessarily harmless. When scientists studied the vapors produced by e-cigarettes, they found 42 additional chemicals, some of them identified as potential risks for cancer. In addition, JUUL®, in particular, has a higher level of benzoic acid, which can produce side effects like vomiting and nausea. It can also produce respiratory effects, including chronic coughing and sore throat, especially when inhaled as in an e-cigarette.
Vape Flavors and Scents
One of the appeals of JUUL® and other vape cartridges is the range of flavors and scents in which they are produced. Rather than the harsh scent of tobacco smoke, vapes offer candy-like flavors that can be particularly appealing to young people. However, flavor additives can be some of the more questionable components of a vape cartridge.
It’s easy to find JUUL® cartridges and other vape products flavored and scented to resemble mango, coffee, butterscotch, mint, and chocolate. Flavored tobacco has been banned for years due to its promotion of smoking for young people and teens. However, flavored vape cartridges continue to hit the market, appealing to increasingly young, new smokers.
Diacetyl, one chemical additive used to promote flavor in e-cigarette cartridges, has been linked in its industrial production to a medical condition that can severely damage the lungs, even causing death. Some foods containing diacetyl were found to pose a risk to consumers, but the ingredient is regularly included in vape cartridges.
JUULs do not contain diacetyl, but they do contain propylene glycol. Studies have found that inhaling propylene glycol can cause serious respiratory problems as well.
Also, many flavor cartridges contain some type of aldehydes. These substances can inflame the lungs and irritate their mucosal tissue when inhaled as in e-cigarette use.
Nicotine Effects from Vaping
The dangers of nicotine may seem to be well-known. However, JUUL® and other vapes give it a new, attractive package that is easily concealed from parents, teachers and other authority figures. The consequences of nicotine are particularly challenging for minors who have adopted vaping as part of the growing trend.
While some of the risks of smoking are associated with tobacco chemicals, others are related to the addictive substance nicotine itself. Some of the risks of nicotine include:
- Increased asthma risk
- Heart disease
- Increased cancer risk
- Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD)
- Inhibited brain development
- Elevated risk of depression
- Fetal development risks
JUUL, Vaping, and Teens
JUULs and other vapes are particularly appealing to teens, including very young teens and other minors. The device was designed to resemble a USB flash drive, making it convenient to carry but also to secrete from parents and school officials. JUULs can even be plugged into the USB port of a computer to recharge them. Other vape pens also offer intriguing designs and shapes that reference fantasy characters, fandoms and other pop-culture items popular among teens and youth.
Of course, vape cartridges are also produced in the type of flavors explicitly prohibited for tobacco products because of their appeal to children and youth. In addition to the child-friendly flavors, JUUL® also offers “skins” for the device that include cartoon characters, artwork and popular mascots.
JUUL® and other vapes market extensively on social media, products used widely by teens and young people. The marketing works: 11% of high school students said they had used a vape at least once, doubling the number of young people with exposure to nicotine. In 2017 and 2018, studies indicated that this is the largest single increase in drug use and smoking linked to teens in years. Smoking rates have dropped considerably, but instead of eliminating the danger, it has been replaced with the risks of vaping.
Take Action Against Vaping Injuries
The explosion in vape popularity has led to increased addiction as well as injuries to the lungs and other dangerous reactions. As a result, states and parents are going to court to challenge the aggressive marketing of JUULs and other vape products to children. A growing number of lawsuits are being filed by people who have been harmed by the promotion and sale of e-cigarettes.
If you or one of your family members has suffered lung disorders, respiratory problems, mental health issues, seizures, behavior problems, nicotine poisoning, childhood addiction or other health problems linked to a JUUL® or other vape, contact The Raimondo Law Firm. We will set up a no-risk consultation with you to evaluate your case and discuss the potential of pursuing compensation for your damages, including pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.