In June 2019, the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes were banned in the city of San Francisco. This opened America’s eyes to the deception and negligence employed by vaping companies who used tactics reminiscent of the Big Tobacco companies of years past.
There were many reasons that led to this ban — such as lack of regulation, misleading marketing, and irrefutable health risks — but among the most prominent reasons was the wave of lawsuits amassing against JUUL Labs and other vaping companies.
Why File a Vape Lawsuit?
Current research has found that vapes and e-cigarettes may cause severe health risks, including nicotine addiction, battery explosions, and illnesses from chemical exposure.
Historically, children and teenagers have been targeted in marketing campaigns by vaping companies, such as JUUL Labs, increasing their risk of these devastating health effects.
Today, vaping companies are under legal scrutiny as families begin to file lawsuits for vaping injuries and illnesses.
Recent vaping lawsuits have claimed the use of vape products caused:
- Physical injuries from battery explosions
- Respiratory issues
- Worsening of existing conditions (such as asthma)
Vaping companies failed to warn consumers of the dangers of using their products. Now, vape users suffering from addiction and serious health problems may have the opportunity to receive financial compensation through a lawsuit.
Families across the U.S. are holding these companies accountable — you may be able to, as well. Start a free case review now.
- As early as July 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned users about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.
- Vape manufacturers under legal scrutiny include JUUL, Altria-Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, and more.
- Injuries stemming from vaping and nicotine addiction may include seizures, strokes, brain development issues, and more.
- Injuries caused by vape battery explosions may include bruises, burns, facial disfigurement, permanent scars, and even death.
Vape News and Recent Lawsuits
E-cigarette users and their families are now filing lawsuits against vape manufacturers and distributors.
- The attorney general of North Carolina, John Stein, filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs in May 2019. Stein aims to limit what flavors the company can sell and to make sure that underage teenagers can’t buy the company’s products.
- The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) filed a lawsuit against over 60 e-cigarette companies for failure to warn customers of the dangerous cancer-causing chemicals in their products.
- A 17-year-old from California is suing manufacturer Shenzhen IVPS Technology after his vaping device exploded in his pocket during class.
- Vicente Garza, whose vape exploded and took off his left index finger, is suing manufacturer Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC, the store that sold him the device, and the store that sold him his vape charger.
The lawsuits mentioned above are only a sample of cases filed against vaping companies and sellers. As additional vaping health risks are uncovered, more and more people will stand up against the companies who sold them harmful products.
What Is Vaping?
Vaping is a common name for e-cigarette use. E-cigarettes are small, battery-powered objects intended to replace the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Though e-cigarettes hit the market in 2007, they are one of the most popular tobacco products in the U.S. today.
E-cigarettes often look like regular cigarettes, pens, or USB drives, making them easy to conceal.
Is Vaping Bad for You?
Yes, vaping is bad for users — especially children and teenagers.
Attached to an e-cigarette is a liquid-filled cartridge. The liquid, commonly known as “e-liquid” or “vape juice,” often contains nicotine and other harmful substances. The e-liquid is heated, turning it into a dangerous aerosol that can be inhaled by the user. Many of the health risks of vaping trace back to the inhalation of this aerosol.
Although e-cigarettes were introduced to the market as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, vaping has many of the same health risks — or more.
Vaping Health Risks
The most notable health risks of vaping — nicotine addiction, battery explosions, and toxic chemical exposure — put users in danger of a variety of illnesses and injuries.
Vaping illnesses and injuries may include:
- Brain development issues
- Broken bones and burns (from explosions)
- Bronchiolitis obliterans (aka Popcorn Lung – caused by exposure to the flavoring chemical diacetyl)
- Heart problems
- Respiratory illnesses
Nicotine addiction from vaping may lead to seizures, strokes, and other health problems.
In 2019, the parents of a 15-year-old girl from Florida filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs and other vape manufacturers after their daughter experienced seizures they believed were caused by nicotine ingestion from vaping.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, a single JUULpod may contain the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes — an entire pack. Additionally, early JUUL products contained around two to five times more nicotine than other types of e-cigarettes.
Almost any product that contains nicotine can be addictive. However, vape products are especially dangerous because the nicotine in e-liquids is more easily absorbed by the body.
Further, unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have varying levels of nicotine. This means that a user may inhale a higher dosage of the drug in a shorter amount of time.
The FDA notes that teenagers have the highest risk of developing nicotine addiction.
From 2009 to 2016, there were nearly 200 reported cases of vape battery explosions by U.S. news outlets — and additional news stories continue to emerge.
In May 2018, a Florida man lost his life when metal projectile from his exploding vape device led to a fatal blow to his head, according to CNN.
Vape battery explosions can cause burns, broken bones, scarring, holes in the mouth or face, and even death. Even when vaping devices are used properly, their batteries still may explode if the product is defective.
Toxic Chemicals & Respiratory Issues
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, vape products may contain toxic chemicals that harm the body when inhaled.
Toxic chemicals and substances found in vaping devices include:
- Heavy metals
- Volatile organic compounds
- Ultrafine particles
Medical experts are currently investigating how inhaling the toxic chemicals found in vape products may harm the lungs and respiratory system.
Diacetyl and Popcorn Lung
Diacetyl is a chemical used to give foods, such as microwavable popcorn, a buttery flavor — however, when inhaled, the chemical may cause popcorn lung.
Popcorn lung got its name after factory workers at microwavable popcorn warehouses inhaled diacetyl and developed bronchiolitis obliterans (commonly known as popcorn lung).
Popcorn lung causes:
- Difficulty breathing
- Lung inflammation
- Permanent scarring
- Incurable lung damage
Today, diacetyl is often used by vape companies to make flavored vape liquids. Vaping may cause diacetyl to enter directly into the lungs, introducing health risks that are still under investigation.
At this time, there has not been a proven link that diacetyl in vape products can cause health issues. However, diacetyl has been banned from e-cigarettes in Europe because of the possible health risks.
Dangers of JUUL
In 2018, approximately 20.8% of high schoolers reported using vaping devices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number reveals an alarming increase over the past seven years since, in 2011, only 1.5% of high schoolers reported current use of e-cigarettes.
This is largely due to the e-cigarette giant, JUUL Labs. The company currently holds over 70% of the vaping market, making it the most popular vape product among consumers.
In recent years, JUUL Labs has come under fire due to allegations that their products have caused serious health issues in users.
Most recently, the Lake County State Attorney’s Office in Illinois filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs in August 2019 claiming the company used deceptive marketing aimed at teenagers.
The company has been accused of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act.
Teenagers and JUUL
Teenagers between the ages of 15-17 are more likely to use JUUL products than the company’s primary demographic, adults trying to quit smoking. This is largely due to the company’s youth-focused marketing tactics.
JUUL e-liquids come in dessert- and fruit-like flavors, accounting for a large part of the products’ appeal. Further, JUUL vaping devices have a small and sleek design that resembles a USB drive. This makes it easy for underage teenagers to hide JUULs from parents and teachers.
JUUL Labs has taken steps to prevent minors from purchasing their products — such as deleting many of their social media platforms — but the number of adolescents who still use JUUL e-cigarettes is alarming.
The CDC recently conducted a study in which they surveyed 20,189 middle and high school students to determine how many young people used e-cigarettes in 2018. The data below shows their findings.
|E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High Schoolers in 2018|
|Middle School Girls||4.8% of middle schoolers vaped|
|Middle School Boys||5.1% of middle schoolers vaped|
|High School Girls||18.8% of high schoolers vaped|
|High School Boys||22.6% of high schoolers vaped|
Unfortunately, since a person’s brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25, teens are highly susceptible to the mental and physical health risks of vaping — especially nicotine addiction, according to Yale Medicine.
File a Vape Lawsuit — Hold Vape Companies Accountable
Vape products can be dangerous to anyone who uses them, but children and teens are at a greater risk. If you believe that vaping may have caused you or your child to get sick or injured, you have legal options.
In over 40 years of practice, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of families across the U.S. recover over $7.4 Billion in verdicts and settlements. Our mission will always be to give everyone the same opportunity for justice, regardless of income or race.
That said, your family may qualify for financial compensation if a vape product has brought harm to you or your child.
We are standing by to help you — contact us today for a free legal case review.