Numerous issues surrounding e-cigarettes have raised concerns in recent months about the dangers of JUUL and vaping products in general. The most widespread concern is the development of a serious respiratory condition known as “e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury” (EVALI). It’s a potentially deadly condition that has been diagnosed in more than 2,700 people who use vape products across the country. As of late January, 60 vaping-related deaths have been recorded nationwide, including one fatality in South Carolina.
The personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm are ready to help South Carolina residents pursue compensation for serious injuries caused by vaping or Juuling. A vape injury lawsuit would hold the manufacturer financially responsible for your medical bills and other related losses caused by vaping.
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure that their products are safe when used correctly and to provide adequate warning of the risks their products pose. We believe vape and e-cigarette manufacturers should be held accountable when their products cause preventable harm. Our product liability attorneys at Joye Law Firm have been standing up for injured people in South Carolina for more than 50 years.
Review the vaping and e-cigarette health facts and other information you should know, and call to speak with a vaping injury attorney at Joye Law Firm or use our online contact form if you or a loved one has been injured by vaping.
1: Vaping Has Caused Illness and Death Nationwide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says as of January 21 there had been 2,711 EVALI cases resulting in hospitalization and/or deaths in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Sixty deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
In South Carolina, public health authorities report 39 confirmed or probable cases of EVALI related to vaping and Juuling in the state as of January 14. In addition to one death, 36 patients have been hospitalized, nine of whom were treated in an intensive care unit. EVALI cases have been found in South Carolina’s:
- Midlands – 3
- Upstate – 25
- Pee Dee – 5
- Lowcountry – 6
The good news is that reports from state health departments around the country show a gradual decline since EVALI cases peaked in September 2019, according to the CDC. EVALI cases in South Carolina mirror this trend, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control says.
E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol vapor that users inhale into their lungs. This is vaping. The liquid in an e-cigarette can contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives. The CDC says vitamin E acetate, an additive found in some THC-containing vaping products, is strongly linked to the EVALI outbreak.
Symptoms of EVALI include:
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea
- Fever, chills
- Weight loss
Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks.
2: FDA Banned Most Fruit & Mint-Flavored Nicotine Vaping Products in the US
The federal government has responded to the EVALI outbreak mainly by focusing on teenage vaping. It’s estimated that among middle and high school students, more than 5 million were current users of e-cigarettes in 2019, and almost 1 million were using e-cigarettes daily.
Most teens who reported e-cigarette use said they prefer flavored e-cigarettes, such as ones fueled by mango- or mint-flavored pods of vaping liquid.
On January 2, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (flavors other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement action.
The FDA said it intends to prioritize enforcement against illegally marketed electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids, by focusing on the following groups of products that do not have premarket authorization:
- Any flavored, cartridge-based ENDS product other than a tobacco- or menthol-flavored ENDS product
- All other ENDS products for which the manufacturer has failed to take or is failing to take adequate measures to prevent minors’ access
- Any ENDS product targeted to minors or likely to promote use of ENDS by minors.
“The FDA is specifically banning cartridge-based nicotine pods like Juul, but allowing vape shops to continue selling tank-based flavored nicotine liquids, which require users to manually fill their pods,” a CNBC report about the FDA ban explains.
Meanwhile, the President signed legislation on December 20, 2019, to raise the federal minimum age for buying tobacco products, and it is now illegal for a retailer to sell cigarettes, cigars or e-cigarettes to anyone under 21.
3: Vape Sales Have Fallen 26% in 2 Months and Things Could Get Even Worse
People are apparently responding to the many questions surrounding vaping and the health risks relating to it by simply avoiding vape products altogether.
After a peak of $160 million in vape sales in August 2019, sales fell more than 21% in September to $126 million, according to research cited by NASDAQ and The Motley Fool. In October, sales fell another 5% to $119 million.
The report says the FDA is considering taking vaping products off store shelves completely.
“If vape companies such as industry leader Juul can’t prove that their products don’t do more harm than good, the FDA may opt to pull their products entirely,” the Motley Fool market analyst writes.
4: The Trump Administration is Divided on Vaping E-Cigarettes
Alex M. Azar II, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the ban on fruit- and mint-flavored e-cigarette pods thought to be aimed at youths.
“By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth,” Azar said in a news release. “We will not stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will continue monitoring the situation and take further actions as necessary.”
The effort seeks to limit children’s access to certain flavored e-cigarette products.
5: A South Carolina Defective Product Attorney May Be Able to Help You
If you or your loved one has been injured by an e-cigarette or developed short term or long term breathing problems after using a vaping device, you may have a right to demand compensation from an e-cigarette manufacturer.
The attorneys at Joye Law Firm in South Carolina have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation of an e-cigarette- / vaping-related lung illness and identify those who should be held accountable.