Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
In addition to recent reports regarding lung illnesses and injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes, there have also been reports of people suffering seizures in connection with usage of these products. The e-cigarette industry has promoted its products as a safe alternative to smoking, but these incidents raise the question of whether these products really are safe for people to use.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our product liability lawyers understand the challenges people face when a supposedly safe device has injured them. We know how to hold corporations accountable for failing to disclose the inherent dangers of their products to get our clients the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
In April of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was investigating 35 incidents involving people suffering seizures after using e-cigarettes. In response, the FDA received an astounding 92 additional reports. The cases under review by the FDA occurred from 2009 to 2019, and involved both first-time and experienced e-cigarette users. Some of the cases involve people with pre-existing seizure disorders, or those who used other drugs along with e-cigarettes. The FDA has not reported a definite link between seizures and e-cigarette use, but has noted serious concerns with the sudden influx of reports in response to the initial study.
What Could Be to Blame?
The FDA has stated that it doesn’t yet have enough information to establish a link between e-cigarette use and seizures, but some have speculated that the seizures are simply the result of nicotine overdose. The reasons are two-fold:
1. Unlike a conventional cigarette, you can smoke for as long as you like with an e-cigarette. As a result, you could consume a massive amount of nicotine in one sitting – perhaps even the equivalent of smoking an entire pack of cigarettes at one time. Consuming such a large quantity of nicotine in such a short time span can lead to nausea, dizziness, tremors, anxiety, and more.
2. Studies indicate that e-cigarettes may deliver nicotine to the bloodstream twice as fast as regular cigarettes. It is possible that someone using an e-cigarette would therefore absorb twice as much nicotine in the same amount of time as someone smoking a cigarette. Again, this could lead to nicotine overdose and potentially cause users to have a seizure.
Again, the FDA has stated that it needs more time and data to study whether e-cigarettes cause seizures.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe?
It may be true that e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products, but the FDA has been clear in stating that much more research is needed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expressly states that they are not safe for children, younger adults, women who are pregnant, or those who do not currently use tobacco products.
E-cigarettes use a battery that heats a liquid to form an inhalable vapor. The vapor contains several chemicals, some of which can be quite harmful:
- Diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease
- Nickel, tin, lead, and other heavy metals
It is important to remember that e-cigarettes deliver nicotine to the bloodstream. The CDC has stated that nicotine can be toxic to developing fetuses, harmful to developing adolescent brains, and dangerous for pregnant women.
Can E-Cigarette Companies Be Held Responsible?
This is a difficult question to answer. As we learn more about the risks associated with e-cigarettes, we expect that the companies that produce these products will be subjected to more stringent regulation. The question for the immediate future will be whether the e-cigarette companies knew that their products posed a health risk to users, and whether they failed to disclose that risk or tried to cover it up.
Contact an Ohio Product Liability Attorney Today
More and more voices are raising concerns over whether e-cigarettes are safe in light of increasing reports of illnesses and injuries. If you’ve incurred injuries or fallen ill due to an e-cigarette, you may be entitled to compensation. The Ohio product liability attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help – we’ll evaluate your case and help you understand your options.