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The judge ruled federal law superceded state regulations citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s rule making e-cigarettes subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control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

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

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

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

You read that correctly. The so-called “safe” alternative to cigarettes can used to start a fire—not intentionally, of course. Unfortunately for a man from North Bay, Alabama, the fire started after he attempted to smoke his e-cigarette. Reports indicate that while the man was using the e-cigarette, it exploded in his mouth and the resulting debris from the lithium battery landed into his closet and caught the carpet on fire. That’s a far cry from a safe alternative.

This man, Tom Holloway, had been working in his home office, when he decided to make use of his e-cigarette.  When he did this, the lithium battery in the e-cigarette exploded, setting off sparks which flew and subsequently set his closet on fire.  Afterwards, the casing of this lithium battery was found on a section of the melted carpet.

Meanwhile, the co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, Thomas Kiklas, denied knowledge of any such problems with e-cigarettes. Instead, Kiklas noted the countless number e-cigarette uses which haven’t produced any serious industries.  What Mr. Kiklas may not know is that his speech is simply repeating history.  Many years ago, the tobacco industry similarly denied knowledge of any risks associated with their cigarettes.  Unfortunately, e-cigarettes seem to be headed in the same direction as their forefathers.

Tom Halloway experienced the risks of using an e-cigarette firsthand. Mr. Kiklas can deny knowledge of serious injuries with use of e-cigarettes, but there is already evidence that this product can have serious health consequences, from respiratory implications to serious burns.

If you are injured as a result of an e-cigarette, it is recommended that you seek experienced legal counsel.

In one word: carcinogens.

There has been a general misconception that smoking an e-cigarette means that you are only inhaling nicotine and water vapor. This misconception is what e-cigarette companies want us to believe. They want us to believe that smoking an e-cigarette is safe. They want us to believe that their e-cigarettes do not contain any of the toxins found in traditional cigarettes. They want us to believe that this is the better alternative to cigarettes. However, that is simply not true.

The e-cigarette industry remains largely unregulated, and the long-term, physical effects of e-cigarette use remain unknown. Recently, a study by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found that some e-cigarette products emit higher levels of cancer-causing gases than what is permissible under California law.

Studies have also shown that e-cigarette products contain high levels of formaldehyde, a gas typically used for glues and particle board, and acetaldehyde, a gas used to make perfume. Both of these byproducts are known cancer-causing gases. This means that you are unfortunately inhaling much more than nicotine and water vapor when you use an e-cigarette, despite what the e-cigarette industry wants us to believe.

The truth is that e-cigarettes are nothing more than an alternative, but certainly not a better. Some might try to argue that these are “safer” than smoking cigarettes; however, the term “safer” is clearly subject to interpretation, and is being used loosely by the e-cigarette industry.

If you are injured as a result of an e-cigarette, it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention and experienced legal counsel.

Studies have shown that approximately 20 million Americans use, or have used, an e-cigarette. This particular worldwide industry is estimated to be worth over $3 billion annually, and some estimates project that the industry will be worth over $10 billion by 2017. Furthermore, the e-cigarette industry advertises their product as a “safe” alternative to actual cigarettes, and many consumers see it as a new method to quit smoking or a way to feed a nicotine habit through safe delivery.

In addition to targeting lifetime smokers, the industry is also capturing a new consumer, more specifically young adults who had never previously smoked traditional cigarettes. As a result, these non-cigarette smokers have since developed a dependence on nicotine due to the e-cigarette industry.

The e-cigarette industry marketing campaigns lead consumers to believe that their products are safe, and unfortunately young adults are buying into it. A recent survey in New York indicated that 10.5% of high school students use e-cigarettes, and 12.7% of individuals between the ages of 18-24 use them. This is almost double the rate (6.5%) of users over the age of 25.

There is no dispute that the e-cigarette industry remains largely unregulated, and the industry is growing fast. We know that e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, and we already know that nicotine is highly addictive and unhealthy, particularly for minors.  In a Health Policy Forum on e-cigarettes, a panel from the School of Medicine all agreed that anyone under the age of 21 should not use any devices that deliver nicotine into the body.

Besides being addictive, nicotine is also known to stunt cognitive growth in youth. This, of course, makes all the e-cigarette industry’s claims that its product is somehow still the “safe” alternative highly suspect.  The fact is, e-cigarettes are not safe, they’re just the better of two bad options.

If you are injured as a result of an E-Cigarette, it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention and experienced legal counsel.

The answer is short: no.

At some point in every smoker’s life, we are told that smoking cigarettes are not safe and they will damage our health over time. We are told that cigarettes will damage our teeth, our lungs, and cause cancer. We are even told that the cigarettes will kill us. I myself am told this quite frequently. And to be fair, the individuals telling us this are not incorrect.

When you hear these statements from a well-being friend or relative, there is often an instinct to stop and consider the possibility of quitting. I, too, have considered quitting on many occasions, but I’m never sure where or how to begin. Quitting cold turkey isn’t an option, because that’s too difficult. However, on those occasions when I stop by the local convenience store to pick up cigarettes, I’ll inevitably walk by the E-Cigarette section.

There’s a certain lure involved with the E-cigarettes. I have tried them, and at the time I justified the purchase by reasoning that it was not an actual cigarette, and therefore must be safer. You shouldn’t believe this “safer” reasoning, however—that’s what the E-Cigarette companies want you to believe, but new evidence suggests otherwise.

In fact, the safety of an E-Cigarette was recently questioned in a civil lawsuit in California. While headed to the airport with her husband, Mrs. Jennifer Ries made the decision to charge her E-Cigrette via the USB port in her vehicle. While it was charging, Mrs. Ries observed a liquid dripping from the battery, and stated that it smelled like nail polish remover. She claimed that, without further warning, the E-cigarette battery exploded, and caused chemicals from the battery to land on her skin. As a result, she suffered from second degree burns to her legs, buttocks, and hands. These burns also resulted in permanent scars to her body.

During the trial, evidence was presented which showed that the E-Cigarettes failed to warn consumers that plugging into a USB port with too much voltage could cause the chemicals in a lithium ion battery to explode. The jury returned a $1.9 million verdict on behalf of the Ries family.

Unfortunately, what happened to Mrs. Ries can happen to any of us. The E-cigarette industry has only been around since 2007, and still remains largely unregulated. These E-Cigarette manufacturers want us to buy into their logic: it’s not a cigarette, so it must be safe. The Ries’ case is the perfect example to prove that this is false logic.

If you are injured as a result of an E-Cigarette, it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention and experienced legal counsel.