Photo of Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr.

609.895.7399
dsanginiti@stark-stark.com

Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr. is an associate and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group.

Despite recent pressure from the high-powered, tobacco-backed vaping industry, Australia recently ruled to keep nicotine-laden e-cigarettes illegal in its country.

E-Cigarettes with Nicotine Ruled Illegal in Australia

A leader in the fight against smoking, Australia classifies nicotine as a poison and has a ban on e-cigarette products that contain the substance. Vaping fluids that do not contain nicotine are allowed for sale in the country. Continue Reading Australia Classifies E-Cigarettes as Dangerous

In May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a rule declaring that e-cigarettes should be regulated like other tobacco products. Through this rule, the FDA exercised its discretion to deem e-cigarettes to be “tobacco products” subject to the set of federal laws that govern the promotion and marketing of conventional cigarettes. The so-called “Deeming Rule” has been a major point of contention for vaping companies that argue e-cigarettes are not tobacco products and any regulations on e-cigarettes act like a ban that will destroy the industry.

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the FDA’s authority to issue the rule. In Nicopure Labs, LLC v. FDA, consolidated with Right to Be Smoke-Free Coalition v. FDA, the plaintiffs challenged the rule. Nicopure claimed the rule violates its First Amendment rights because the rule’s restriction on modified-risk statements prohibits manufacturers from making truthful and non-misleading statements about their products. Likewise, Nicopure claimed that the ban on the distribution of free samples violates Nicopure’s right to free speech. Nicopure called for “disclaimers” for e-cigarettes rather than the strict tobacco-like regulations.  The court declined that invitation, stating that “Permitting manufacturers to make unsubstantiated statements concerning modified risk tobacco products, whether express or implied, even if accompanied by disclaimers would be detrimental to the public health.”

Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FDA’s Authority to Regulate E-Cigarettes

While proponents continue to say that e-cigs are safe, a new study shows that e-cigs may be just as dangerous as regular cigarette smoking—with the added danger of explosions that can mutilate and disfigure teens and adults using the systems. The newest study measures five chemicals in e-cigarettes known to cause bladder cancer, including “nitrosamines” and formaldehyde. The chemicals are known to be ingredients in e-cigarette liquid. Continue Reading More Bad News About E-Cigarettes: Bladder Cancer

Recently a lithium battery fire in a passenger’s backpack caused a plane to divert its flight and make an emergency landing, reported the Federal Aviation Administration. Lithium batteries, which are used in e-cigarettes, phones, laptops, and other devices, are known to explode and/or catch fire without warning. The backpack was quickly removed from the plane, preventing injury or further damage.

Although no one was injured on the flight, lithium battery explosions can cause devastating injuries, particularly in cell phone and e-cigarette explosions. Last year, Samsung recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 phones because the batteries were catching fire and causing injuries. Panasonic, Toshiba, and Lenovo recalled laptop batteries for fire danger. Continue Reading Lithium Battery Catches Fire on Flight

In May 2017, an Arizona woman suffered severe injuries when an e-cigarette exploded in her lap while she was driving. The 20-year-old driver tried to jump out of the truck but the flames spread, lighting up her pants and car seat, causing her to crash the vehicle.

“I opened the door and the whole inside of the cab was on fire,” said an officer.

The woman suffered severe burns to her legs and back, a broken pelvis, and broken legs.

The same month a woman in the UK suffered third degree burns to her thigh and legs when her e-cigarette battery also exploded while she was driving. Continue Reading More E-cigarette Explosion Injuries

According to a recent news article, Scott Becker spent 12 days in a burn center after his e-cigarette exploded a year ago and still requires daily treatment for his injuries. Becker was quoted as saying, “These things are dangerous. If I’d known…I could have saved myself a tremendous amount of anguish.”

As discussed in previous blogs, e-cigarette explosions not only cause devastating thermal burns, but also chemical burns from the lithium batteries. The chemicals sometimes damage multiple layers of the skin because they continue to “burn” long after skin exposure. Becker suffered third degree burns including a massive deep burn in his thigh requiring skin grafts.

Many experts agree that injuries caused by e-cigarette use are on the rise and that the public should be warned about the risks. Continue Reading One Year Later E-Cigarette Victim Still Treating Burns

E-cigarettes use lithium ion batteries which, when they explode, release hydrofluoric acid that causes caustic chemical burns to the skin. These types of burns are particularly dangerous because the damage doesn’t show immediately and delayed treatment is less effective. Continue Reading E-Cigarette Explosions Cause Devastating Injuries: Torn Flesh, Caustic Burns and Heat Burns

A class action failure-to-warn lawsuit against e-cigarette companies was thrown out by the Central District Court of California last week. The suit, filed by plaintiffs from CA, IL, and NY, included claims that the accused companies, including Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Reynolds American Inc. (which bought Lorillard in 2014), deceptively advertised the health benefits of e-cig products over traditional cigarettes.

The judge ruled federal law superceded state regulations citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s rule making e-cigarettes subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Under Federal law tobacco products only need to carry a warning regarding the addictive properties of nicotine. States cannot mandate stricter labeling requirements.

The only claim that appears to have survived is Continue Reading E-Cigarette Class Action Suit Stymied by Federal Law