Vaping has, in recent times, been touted as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. This perception has seen a large number of young people take up e-cigarette smoking despite never having smoked in their lives.
In fact, companies like JUUL with their JUUL vape have historically been known to target children and teenagers with their products. This begs the question: Is vaping bad for you? Well, the answer to this is a resounding yes!
E-cigarettes have been linked to hundreds of serious lung injury cases that result in death. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of cases of lung injury have been reported in people who have a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping.
If you or someone you know has suffered lung injury as a result, can you seek legal redress? If so, from whom? This article seeks to demystify the parties liable for vaping injuries.
What Is In Vape Juice?
E-liquid, e-juice, or vape juice, as it is sometimes called, is the fluid contained in e-cigarettes or vaporizers to create vapor. It comes in various flavors and nicotine levels, with some brands offering zero-nicotine alternatives.
It is made of water, flavoring additives, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol. Others may contain CBD vape oil, THC vape oil, or essential oil vape specifically designed for vaporizers.
The mechanism of action is pretty straightforward. The vape pen or vaporizer heats up the vape juice to between 200 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, effectively turning the liquid into vapor, which is then inhaled.
Vaping products continue to advance from the common vape pens and e-cigarettes to the newer vape mod kits, which are marketed to more “experienced” individuals looking to experience something different. Sadly, what they fail to mention is the added risk for lung disease they bear.
What Causes Vaping-Related Lung Injuries and Deaths
The scientific community is still largely unsure of the exact mechanism by which vaping causes lung injuries and eventual death. Research from the University of Utah suggests that it could be due to a type of lipoid pneumonia that results from lipids (fat molecules) entering the lungs.
There is also the presence of Vitamin E acetate present in vape juice that has been known to cause chronic inflammation of the respiratory system, lung disease, acquired respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and in some instances, death.
Anytime an individual inhales vaping liquid, they are essentially exposing their lungs to dangerous substances that are responsible for causing lung injuries. These injuries may include:
- Bronchial pneumonia
- Bleeding in the lungs
- Fluid in the lungs
- Collapsed lung
- Lung infection
- Lung failure
- Popcorn lung
The CDC is buried elbow deep in research in an effort to decipher the devastating effects of vaping and minimize the number of vaping-related deaths.
Diacetyl and Popcorn Lung: The link
Diacetyl is the chemical used in certain foods like microwaveable popcorn to give them their characteristic “buttery” flavor. This compound is, however quite dangerous as is had been linked to causing popcorn lung.
The condition was christened popcorn lung after factory employees who worked at a factory that used to manufacture microwaveable popcorn developed bronchiolitis obliterans or popcorn lung as it is commonly referred to as. The condition gives rise to a number of complications like lung inflammation, permanent scarring, breathing difficulty, and irreversible lung damage.
Diacetyl in vape juice, which is essentially the same substance as the infamous popcorn lung chemical, is used by vape manufacturers as a flavor additive in e-liquids. Because of the possible health risks associated with the chemical, its use in the manufacture of e-liquids has been banned in Europe.
Filing a Vaping Injury Lawsuit
While vaping is dangerous for everyone who uses vaping products, children and teens are at a greater risk of suffering from vaping injuries. Nevertheless, if you or someone you know is suffering from lung injuries that are the result of vaping, you can seek legal redress to help cater for the lifetime of medical expenses you’ll incur.
You can also sue the vaping company for damages resulting from the reduced quality of life you’ll now be facing.
Whether your lung injuries stem from JUUL or any other e-cigarette company, you can hold them liable for the devastating blow their products have rendered to your health. Some of the compensation types you can pursue include:
- Payment for current and recurrent medical expenses such as costs associated with MRI scans, X-rays, visits to the doctor, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, therapies, etc.
- Recovering lost wages resulting from vaping-related lung injuries
- Damages for the reduction of future earning capacity
- Compensation for all medical expenses that you are likely to incur in the future
- Pain and suffering compensation resulting from having to deal with the reduced quality of life you have to adjust to
Suing for Vaping Injury Damages: Steps You Need to Take
If you are diagnosed with lung damage resulting from vaping, you need to consult with a lawyer who will help you take the appropriate course of action to protect your legal rights to ensure that you hold the company responsible for their negligent actions. Some of the steps you need to take include:
- Create a file that contains all the medical records and documents that detail your diagnosis and treatment plan
- Keep a record of all your medical bills and expenses
- Document any time you miss work due to issues related to your injuries
- Outline when you started vaping, the product you were using at the time, and when you started to exhibit symptoms related to your illness
Hold the Vaping Company Accountable
Bear in mind that there’s a time limit within which you need to file a lawsuit once you are diagnosed with vaping-related lung injury. It is, therefore, important to get in touch with a vaping injury attorney as soon as possible to hold the company accountable for causing your injuries. You shouldn’t have to pay for the harm caused by a dangerous product.
If you have more legal questions, you can comment below or chat online with a Laws101.com attorney, where you’ll be instantly connected to a lawyer who can give you legal guidance on your specific case or question.