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The judge ruled federal law superceded state regulations citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s rule making e-cigarettes subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control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

Over the past weekend a young girl was injured in yet another e-cigarette explosion. The vaping device burst into flames in the pocket of a nearby person on an adventure ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Caroline Saylor, 14, received first and second degree burns to her face, arm and leg when the flames “shot out” from the neighboring seat. Conflicting reports suggest the man and his friends ran off after it happened. Without access to the defective vaping device it is impossible to determine whether the product mechanism was defective or whether there was misuse by the user. In either event, this incident is further evidence of a consumer safety issue that is being flippantly dismissed by the profit-seeking e-cig industry.

Continue Reading Another E-Cig Explosion—Who is Responsible?

Sunday there was yet another e-cigarette lithium battery explosion—this time in woman’s purse while she was shopping. Mara McInerney’s handbag exploded with the sound of a “gunshot,” pouring thick black smoke and sending other shoppers scurrying away from the blast. It was the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a day when people’s nerves were already on edge. According to an NBC 4 New York article, McInerney was terrified; “It was 9/11. I thought someone had put something in my bag.” It turned out the lithium battery in her vaporizer exploded burning her designer bag into fragments. Luckily the flaming bag didn’t burn her hands and face as well. The New Jersey woman is even more thankful it didn’t explode while her four year old daughter was reaching into the bag to get a toy or a piece of candy.

Continue Reading E-Cigarette Explodes in Woman’s Purse

Is it time to regulate e-cigarettes just like tobacco?

Despite the growing base of literature on the dangers, e-cigarette and vaping use is on the rise, especially among young people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced tougher rules to treat e-cigarettes in much the same way as other tobacco products are regulated under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The biggest impact under the new rule is to ban sales to children. However, eight states—Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina Nevada, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming have taken a more affirmative step and enacted laws that categorize e-cigarettes as tobacco products. California recently joined the pack when Governor Brown signed into legislation a similar law designating e-cigarettes as tobacco products. In California this means that use is barred in many public and private places including at work, schools, and public transit areas. In addition, some local laws in California ban tobacco products from beaches and at entrances to private businesses, such as near hotel entrances. Under the new law, which goes into effect June 9th, all vaping products—including the candy-flavored liquids—must also be sold in childproof packaging. Brown also passed legislation upping the smoking age to 21 years.

Continue Reading California Passes Law to Regulate E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

A new report “raises another red flag about e-cigarettes–the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. Poisonings in children are on the rise from drinking e-cigarette liquids that come with vaping products. The liquid packaging is brightly colored; the candy-flavored taste inviting; the lack of child-proof packaging? Extremely dangerous.

The liquids in e-cigarettes contain a concentrated dose of nicotine, which is a poison. In liquid form, nicotine can be ingested or absorbed through the skin causing severe poisoning or even death. Poison center stats show that more than fifty percent (50%) of the victims are children under 6 years old. Just as startling is that forty percent (40%) are over twenty (20) years old. Adults are being poisoned at nearly the same rate as children. Many of these adult poison events are from inhaling and/or exposure to the skin and eyes.

Continue Reading E-Cigarette Poisoning in Children on the Rise

In Albertville, Alabama, a 10th grade student noticed his e-cigarette case was getting hot. He took it out of his pocket and placed it on a nearby desk where it promptly exploded. He escaped injury but a nearby student wasn’t so lucky. He was hospitalized with burns to his face and neck.

Continue Reading Another Student Burned by E-Cigarette—This Time During School

Despite the growing number of injuries attributed to e-cigarette and vaping product use, manufacturers continue to claim the products are a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Recent reports dispute this, including:

  1. A Harvard study that showed dangerous levels of a lung-destroying chemical called diacetyl,[i]
  2. Cases of lung injuries and pneumonia from vaping,[ii] and,
  3. Evidence of devastating injuries from device fires and explosions.[iii]

Continue Reading E-Cigarette Vaping Product Explodes – Causes Catastrophic Injuries to 14 Year Old Boy

Don George of Los Angeles, a retired Air Force veteran, is the latest example of the dangers associated with use of an e-cigarette. George recently filed suit in Los Angeles after being injured when the e-cigarette’s battery exploded, causing permanent scaring to his face and arm. Further, George claims that he had recently changed the battery prior to the explosion, but the device still continued to not work. While trying to determine what was wrong with his e-cigarette, George held the device near his ear in an attempt to hear if the mechanics inside sounded like they were working.

Without further warning, the batter exploded in George’s face. According to him, flames began to shoot from the bottom of the e-cigarette’s battery, burning his face, shoulder, and part of his home’s carpet.

Continue Reading E-Cigarette Battery Injures Air Force Veteran

While there is no doubt that e-cigarettes are dangerous, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents a much greater problem that has previously been overlooked. According to the study, approximately 18.3 million middle school and high school students were exposed to at least one source of e-cigarette advertising in 2014. To put that figure into further perspective, it represents nearly 70% of the total study participants. Of this marketing, approximately “14 million students were exposed to [e-cigarette] ads in retail stores, 10.5 million students were exposed to ads on the internet, 9.6 million students were exposed watching TV or movies, and 8 million students while reading newspapers or magazines.”

Additionally, the study concluded that e-cigarettes were the most common tobacco product used by children in that same age bracket in 2014, which only underlines the apparent effectiveness of e-cigarette marketing. Just to start, there are a variety of obvious concerns with marketing any device like e-cigarettes to children. Even ignoring those concerns, the fact of the matter is that these products deliver nicotine into the body, which is known to stunt brain development in children.

There is simply no disputing that these products are dangerous. In addition to questionable marketing tactics targeting children, e-cigarettes have a whole host of other issues. There has been a history of the rechargeable batteries exploding; leading people to suffer from catastrophic injuries, and in spite of all this the e-cigarette industry just grows larger. Unfortunately, as the product’s marketing continues to expand, it will collect more and more users who are seeking to take advantage of its benefits without fully understanding all the potential risks.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an e-cigarette or vaping device, it is recommended that you seek experienced legal counsel immediately.

From 2013 to 2014, the global market for e-cigarettes and e-liquids has nearly doubled to $6 billion, with the U.S. accounting for nearly half that amount. That is a staggering number in sales for an otherwise relatively new product. Overall, the e-cigarette industry markets their product as the safe alternative to smoking, and even claims to help facilitate the process to quit. This increase in sales clearly indicates that their marketing is working.

Many individuals, including myself, have stood at a convenience store counter and thought, “I’ll buy an e-cigarette today. Maybe it’ll help me quit smoking, or at least it will be healthier than smoking a real cigarette.” Unfortunately, those assumptions might not be as accurate as we previously hoped.

A recent study published by JAMA Pediatrics questioned the safety of e-cigarettes. The study sampled over 45,000 children from Hong Kong with an average age of 15 years old and revealed that 40% of teenagers who smoked either traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes suffered from various respiratory symptoms when compared to those who have not smoked either traditional or electronic cigarettes.

Continue Reading Respiratory Problems Another Potential Hazard for E-Cigarette Users