For more than 10 years, American consumers have turned to electronic cigarettes as a supposedly "safer" alternative to other tobacco products. In recent years, the advent of Juul e-cigarettes spawned a generation of users who ditched traditional cigarettes for a cleaner, odorless product.
Many of these users are tech-savvy children and adolescents, who, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, are attracted to the various flavors and convenience afforded by vaping devices. E-cigarette products contain two substances: nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both substances are not only addictive, but they are also harmful to the development of young adults.
Lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use
Recently, these products have resulted in thousands of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injuries (EVALI) due to the additive vitamin E acetate. The ultrafine particles and other chemicals found in e-cigarettes can result in other lung illness. These illnesses can include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of December 27, 2019:
- A total of 2,561 EVALI-related hospitalizations were reported across the United States.
- A total of 55 EVALI-related deaths were reported across 27 states, including two in New York.
Heart attack risks
A 2018 study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found that e-cigarette users are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than non-users. When combined with daily use of traditional cigarettes, the risk raises to five-fold.
Those who smoke traditional cigarettes, but are transitioning to e-cigarettes under the presumption that they are healthier, are especially at risk.
According to the UCSF study, e-cigarettes contain lower levels of cancer-causing carcinogens than traditional cigarettes. They contain ultrafine particles and other toxic components that can increase the risk of heart attacks, however.
The study also found that among more than 9,000 current and former e-cigarette users:
- 3.6 percent had experienced heart attacks
- 6.1 percent used e-cigarettes daily
Other research has found that the highly-concentrated nicotine content in e-cigarettes can significantly increase users' blood pressure — putting them at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Risk of seizures
Between 2010-2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received reports of 127 seizures linked to e-cigarette use. According to the agency, "seizures or convulsions are known potential side effects of nicotine toxicity."
In some cases, seizures were reported among first-time e-cigarette users "after a few puffs or up to one day after use."
Seizures are the cause of unusual electronic activity in the brain. This activity can result in uncontrollable convulsions, changes in consciousness, and changes in behavior.
What are my legal options if I got sick?
You may have sustained any of the above-mentioned conditions or illnesses due to e-cigarette use. That's why it's critical that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law is now representing clients who have become ill or lost a loved one due to an e-cigarette-related health condition. Whether you were a first-time user or had been using e-cigarette products regularly, call us. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you seek justice.
To find out how we can help you, contact us online. We serve clients in NYC and across New York State.