For a time, it seemed as though real progress had been made in the campaign against smoking. Thanks to both widespread messaging about the dangers of cigarettes and states creating legislation banning the activity in many public spaces, cigarette smoking among the general population appeared to be on the decline.
However, recently there has been a surge in vaping instead of smoking. Once advertised as a safe alternative to tobacco and tar-riddled cigarettes, vaping is now proving to be more harmful than first realized. Notably, its impact on young users has caused considerable public alarm, prompting even the federal government to intervene with new laws and regulations.
As more people fall victim to high blood pressure, heart disease, and enigmatic cases of lung injury, actions are being taken to ensure more aren’t harmed by this popular practice. For those who have already been impacted by the negative effects of vaping, they deserve to be compensated for the injuries that they’ve suffered.
Vaping is essentially “electronic smoking.” Smokers use an electronic cigarette, otherwise known as an e-cigarette or vape pen. The device heats nicotine and processes it along with artificial flavoring and other chemicals to produce an inhaled vapor. The nicotine used is still extracted from tobacco.
Consumers aren’t often told how many chemicals are present in vaping solution, but researchers believe that they’re fewer than the number found in traditional cigarettes. The effects of vaping are often less dangerous than cigarettes because E-cigarettes do not incorporate tar or paper. These two cigarette components can exacerbate the damage caused to the lungs.
Vaping is still relatively new. The current studies on the effects of vaping aren’t derived from long-standing, decade-spanning research. This makes the information presently available somewhat limited. But research has been done, and the studies that we do have show that vaping is not the risk-free alternative to smoking that it was once touted as being.
Vaping still includes the use of the highly addictive substance nicotine. This toxic agent can negatively impact the body by spiking blood pressure and adrenaline levels. People who intake nicotine regularly will often suffer withdrawal symptoms if they try to abstain from it.
They also pose a threat to lung health. In the last couple of years, some findings suggest that even brief usage among those who are generally healthy can irritate and disrupt the normal function of lung cells. Other reports show that vaping could possibly affect one’s respiratory system; however, more research is needed to make definitive conclusions.
Compared to people who don’t vape, those who do are at a higher risk of encountering complications with oral health, developing heart disease or angina, or suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
Aside from physiological effects, other risks come with vaping. Over the years there have been numerous reports of vape pens exploding and causing physical—at times severe—harm to users. People have suffered thermal burns, chemical burns, and damage to bone and tissue. Some injuries have required extensive surgery.
One demographic that has been hit particularly hard by the damaging effects of vaping is young people. Vaping among those below the age of 25 has increased exponentially in recent years. A 2015 report from the U.S. surgeon general stated that, among high schoolers, vaping increased by a staggering 900 percent.
Some of the appeal of vaping comes from the widespread (but false) belief that e-cigarettes aren’t harmful. Also, compared to regular cigarettes, vaping is much cheaper. It doesn’t help that there is a wide variety of flavors to choose from, making vaping all the more appealing.
But we’re starting to see just how damaging vaping can be to those who are still growing and developing. Increasingly, we’re seeing reports of teens and young adults suddenly stricken with lung injury and other illnesses. Hundreds have been hospitalized, and the Center for Disease and Control has already reported 12 deaths in 10 states.
If you or someone you care about has experienced illness or physical injury due to the use of vaping products, know that you are not alone. The fact is companies that produce vaping products can do so with very little regulation. As a result, they suffer little to no consequences when consumers report injuries from using their products.
That has to change, and one way we can do that is by holding these companies accountable through the court of law. At the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm, our e-cigarette injury lawyers are prepared to advocate for anyone who has been impacted by this harmful practice. Whether you suffered physical injury through a malfunctioning product or experienced a decline in health due to usage, our team wants to help you get compensated. Contact us today. Together we can help ensure that vaping companies are held to a higher standard and people don’t suffer undue harm from using their products.