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E-Cigarettes

The e-cigarette injury attorneys at the drug Law Center are now accepting cases on behalf of our clients who have suffered injuries caused by exploding e-cigarette devices.

What Is an E-Cigarette?

E-cigarette RecallsE-cigarette (also referred to as electronic cigarettes) vaporizes liquid nicotine and delivers the substance when inhaled by the user. The rechargeable handheld device contains a battery, atomizer, cartridge, and heating element. Many individuals enjoy the stimulation caused by the nicotine without inhaling the smoke of the traditional tobacco cigarette. However, these devices are not without their problems because they vaporize cancer-causing chemicals. Some have serious design flaws and have been known to explode without warning.

History of Electronic Cigarettes

The design of the first electronic cigarette can be traced back to the early 1930s when Joseph Robinson received a patent on a crude device. By 1963, Herbert Gilbert created and patented the first modern electronic cigarette, although; the design was never commercialized or sold. By the early 1990s, nicotine inhaling devices were designed to deliver the stimulating nicotine chemical through physical propulsion and evaporation.

In 2003, the first electronic cigarette to attain commercial success was developed in Beijing China. Three years later (2006) e-cigarette devices began selling in Europe before reaching the United States in 2007. The World Health Organization (WHO) demanded that companies remove materials immediately that lead consumers to believe that the cigarettes are effective and safe. In 2009, Australia banned the sale and possession of e-cigarette’s containing nicotine. That same year, Pres. Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law banning mint or fruit flavoring in tobacco products

In April 2011, the Food and Drug Administration announced the regulatory agency will regulate electronic cigarettes the same as it does traditional tobacco cigarettes. By 2016, the public is concerned about super hot explosions of electronic cigarettes that often produce painful third-degree burns requiring skin grafts to minimize significant scarring. Today, e-cigarette devices generate more than $2.5 billion in the U.S. every year. Companies are spending approximately $125 million annually to promote vaporing products in America.

How Do Electronic Cigarettes Work?

Many people use battery-operated electronic cigarettes because it works as a nicotine delivery system. Many companies promote e-cigarettes as an alternative habit to traditional tobacco smoking. The product can still deliver stimulating nicotine without the need to burn tobacco, avoiding many of the health risks associated with traditional smoking. In addition to the battery power source, the device contains three components including:

  • The Cartridge – This part of the device holds the liquid nicotine solution at varying potencies along with chemicals and flavoring
  • The Vaporizer/Atomizer – This heating device vaporizes the liquid nicotine, flavoring, and chemicals by breaking down the ingredients to create and inhalable solution
  • The Mouthpiece – The user inhales the vaporized aerosol ingredients through the mouthpiece

The design of e-cigarette helps simulate traditional tobacco smoking by creating a nicotine delivery system, flavored (simulated) smoke in a vapor, and the physical habit of placing the e-cigarette device to the mouth during inhalation.

Many individuals use electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, to stop smoking or cut back on a smoking habit. However, the “vaping” aerosol produced by the devices yet to be determined if it is safe because of the dangerous chemicals the liquid contains including ultrafine particles, heavy metals, and carcinogenic/toxic ingredients.

E-Cigarette Serious Side Effects

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse stated in December 2016 that “vaping” devices including electronic cigarettes are not risk-free. They claim that while “it is a generally agreed that these products are less harmful than smoke cigarettes, there is no evidence that they are, in fact, safe.” Researchers have found many negative health consequences of “smoking” electronic cigarettes that include:

  • Lung, heart, and brain damage
  • The development of cancerous tumors
  • Pregnant women with preterm deliveries and stillbirths
  • Dangerous birth defects during fetal development
  • Harmful effects on maturing lungs and brains on adolescents
  • Nicotine addiction that could affect the development of the brain in young individuals

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve vaporing devices including e-cigarette’s as effective smoking cessation (quit smoking) aids. Even though the FDA has imposed new regulations, manufacturers of electronic cigarette devices continue to market their products to young adults, adolescents, and children.

Electronic Cigarettes and the FDA

In September 2013, the FDA issued a warning over the concerns of potential health risks associated with using electronic cigarettes. The federal agency was concerned that “e-cigarette can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.” The FDA also warned that “the product may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans.”

The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that there is no way of ever knowing “whether e- cigarettes are safe for their intended use… or about what types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals or what dose of nicotine they are inhaling when they use these products.” The federal agency was particularly concerned that these vaping devices are sold “without any legal age restrictions” and “do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products are conventional cigarettes.”

An Explosive Problem

Federal agencies report that four out of every five explosions involving electronic cigarettes occur during recharging of the internal battery. Many of these cases involve using alternative chargers instead of the charging device that came with the product. Even so, many of these explosions occur when the device is in the user’s possession, in their mouth, hand or in their pocket leading to serious, life-threatening injuries.

Some studies indicate that the explosions are caused by negligent use or faulty batteries and produce mostly topical injuries and severe burns. Cable news network CNN reported in November 2016 that a New York man was badly burned when e-cigarette in his pocket exploded while working at a wine store. The man suffered third-degree burns requiring hospitalization at a burn unit.

Another incident of a vaporizer blowing up occurred in May 2016 where a New York man had teeth knocked out and a whole ripped in his tongue while burning his hands. An Alabama teenager was also the victim of an exploding electronic cigarette that same month when the hot battery exploded and hit his face.

Recall Information

In December 2016, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer demanded that e-cigarette devices be recalled only consumer marketplace. This is in response to the devices and their batteries causing harm to users who were victims of explosions, fires, and other injuries.

The U.S. Fire Administration began receiving reports of exploding e-cigarettes in 2009, nearly 24 months before electronic cigarettes were available for sale in the United States. While these products have yet to be recalled, the Food and Drug Administration has indicated it is currently reviewing the safety of electronic cigarettes and are evaluating the device’s battery functionality including their type, wattage, voltage, and amperage. In addition, the FDA has been warning consumers of the potential injuries and illnesses associated with using e-cigarette devices including the development of:

Potential Electronic Cigarette Injury Lawsuits

Many individuals have suffered negative effects of using electronic cigarettes or hurt from exploding device that caused injuries have the right to file lawsuits against the manufacturers. Some of these include:

  • Surveillance Cameras Capture Exploding E-Cigarette Injuring a New Yorker
    December 2016 – The explosion of a Wimsec Reuleax RX2000 electronic cigarette left a New York worker with permanent injuries while he was at his job in Grand Central Terminal. During the explosion, the individual was talking with a coworker when Sparks began flying out of his pocket. The man claimed that “I heard an explosion, was like firecrackers, a couple of booms… I was trying to get it out but it was too hot to handle so I dropped it on the ground. I knew I was hurt, but I did not know how badly.”The explosion was caught on surveillance cameras inside the store. The man stated that “the pain was horrible and I am fighting for my future now. I do not know if I am going to be able to use my hand or write okay, or walk okay. And I know I am going to have scars. The pain is horrible.”
  • Arizona Man Injured in Electronic Cigarette Explosion
    February 2017 – An electronic cigarette exploded in the pocket of an Arizona man causing significant injury. The explosion of the device left the man with serious leg injuries including a second-degree burn. The individual stated that “I just walked out of a war scene” and that now he suffers with “pain, burning, stinging.”
  • Electronic Cigarette Explosion Causes Injury to an Idaho Man
    February 2017 – An exploding electronic cigarette has caused a Pocatello Idaho man to suffer serious injuries including second-degree burns after the explosion knocked out his front teeth. The 30-year-old had been vaping – inhaling nicotine solution vapors – when the device exploded in his face causing second-degree burns on the neck and face. The explosion was so intense that two of his teeth were knocked out and seven more fell out during surgery. His injuries were so severe immediately after the accident that he was unable to speak and required a liquid diet when eating. The man has yet to determine whether to file a lawsuit against the e-cigarette manufacture over his injuries.These cases are only a small portion of the number of individuals who suffered serious injuries from exploding electronic cigarette devices. Others have been hurt by chemical exposure caused by the toxins used to create a simulated smoking experience. Many lawsuits are being filed against device manufacturers to be held legally accountable and financially responsible for the damages they cause their customers.

Filing an E-Cigarette Injury Lawsuit

The e-cigarette injury attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently accepting cases where our clients have suffered e-cigarette explosion injuries. Our law firm understands that dangerous nicotine solutions can produce lifelong serious health complications that oftentimes claim the life of the victim. Our attorneys remain committed to ensuring that e-cigarette manufacturers, marketers, distributors, and sellers of these dangerous products are held financially responsible for the injuries of our clients.

If you, or a loved one, are currently suffering severe injuries caused by ingesting, using or inhaling E-liquids, you are likely entitled to file a compensation lawsuit seeking financial recompense to cover your damages including medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain, suffering, and other damages.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your claim. Our e-cigarette injury attorneys will postpone payment of their legal services until after they successfully resolve your case through a negotiated out-of-court settlement or jury trial award. All information you share the law offices remains confidential.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/labeling/rulesregulationsguidance/ucm394909.htm

https://www.centeronaddiction.org/newsroom/press-releases/expert-views-e-cigarettes

https://www.centeronaddiction.org/the-buzz-blog/national-center-addiction-and-substance-abuse-launches-expert-views-e-cigarettes-new

https://www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/labeling/productsingredientscomponents/ucm456610.htm