The popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping has skyrocketed since the devices launched in 2007 and have since managed to rake in over $3.5 billion. Manufacturers and advertisers alike market e-cigarettes as the safer alternative to smoking and tout the lack of offensive odors that accompany actual cigarettes. However, extreme health concerns have reached an all-time high over the last year, with news of everything from exploding e-cigarettes to mysterious lung illnesses due to vaping.
Instances of exploding e-cigarettes have been widely reported for several years now, and many are claiming the cheaply made batteries are to blame. An e-cigarette uses a liquid solution, also known as a “juice”, located in the atomizing cartridge. A heating element vaporizes this liquid, producing smoke. The lithium-ion batteries that are used to power cellphones, laptops, hoverboards, and now e-cigarettes, are particularly powerful but are prone to malfunction in extreme temperatures. The risk also increases if the devices are overcharged or charged too quickly. High-quality lithium-ion batteries are made with a “fail-safe mechanism” to prevent a malfunction, something poorer quality batteries lack.
According to a letter that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors at the University of Washington discussed the burn and explosion injuries suffered from 15 different patients while using e-cigarettes and vape pens, which included “tooth loss and extensive loss of soft tissue.” Dr. Anne Wagner of the University of Colorado Hospital Burn Center says that these burns are very serious. “It’s literally an explosion, a super-hot explosion…We’re seeing deep third-degree burns and almost all of them require skin grafts and these grafts leave a significant scar.” Other injuries that doctors are seeing are significant tissue injury, and damage to the mouth, hands and tendons.
In June 2019, reports of “mysterious illnesses” allegedly brought on by vaping began to circulate in the media. By August, the CDC had identified 193 possible cases, including 9 in New Jersey, across 16 states, with the symptoms involving difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain, as well as diarrhea and vomiting. The first vaping death linked to this outbreak was reported out of Illinois in August. Though it has been determined that the ailments have not been connected to one specific brand, some users admitted that they started feeling the symptoms after vaping products containing THC.
Though vaping and e-cigarettes are marketed as a better alternative to smoking cigarettes, they still contain harmful ingredients that cause addiction and possible illness:
- Metals, including nickel, tin and lead
- Diacetyl, which is used as a flavorant, but is a chemical that has been linked to serious lung illnesses
- Ultrafine particles which can settle into the lungs
- “Volatile” organic compounds
If you or someone you know has been injured or sickened due to a vaping product, please contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-2000. We will review your case confidentially and for free.