Electronic Cigarette Injury Lawsuits
E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) could be dangerous to your health! Recent tests by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that two popular brands of e-cigarettes contained carcinogens and other dangerous substances. Yet some companies that market e-cigarettes claim they are not as harmful as traditional cigarettes. What's worse, e-cigarettes are often marketed and sold to young people-even children.
Most e-cigarette users would be shocked at what was found in these devices. The hazardous substances included a highly-toxic chemical used to make antifreeze. The FDA also found that some e-cigarettes labeled as having no nicotine actually contained the addictive substance.
Our e-cigarette lawyers are investigating a potential class action lawsuit against the distributors of these highly dangerous products. If you smoke e-cigarettes because of claims that they are safer than traditional cigarettes, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact one of our e-cigarette lawyers right away to protect your legal rights.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals. The electronic cigarette turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals, into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. E-cigarettes are sold online and at mall kiosks around the country for about $100 to $200.
Because these products have not been submitted to the FDA for evaluation or approval, there is no way of knowing how much nicotine or other chemicals they deliver to the user. However, limited testing conducted by the FDA has raised alarms.
According to the FDA, e-cigarettes are marketed and sold to young people. In addition, these products do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes. They are also available in different flavors, such as chocolate and mint, which may appeal to young people.
The FDA has been stopping shipments of e-cigarettes at the border since 2008. As of July 2009, 50 shipments had been refused, but e-cigarettes are still widely available in the U.S. Canada fully banned the devices in March 2009.
The FDA believes that e-cigarettes are both a drug and a device, making them subject to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. However, one of the companies that markets e-cigarettes filed suit against the FDA in April 2009, claiming that the agency overstepped its authority by banning shipments and insisting that e-cigarettes go through the drug approval process.
Research Reveals that E-Cigarette Flavoring and Battery Voltage are Tied to Cellular Toxicity
Recent evidence reveals that the flavorings used in e-cigarettes and other vaping products induce acute inhalation toxicity at the cellular level, according to a September 2016 report by MedPage Today. In fact, some flavorings were found to be more toxic than others.
The study was published online in BMJ's Tobacco Control. Of the five flavors tested, strawberry was found to be the most toxic to bronchial cells. Prior studies revealed, and this was also found in this research, that higher battery output voltage was tied to higher toxicity in what was described as a dose-dependent manner.
Although the chemical compounds that create flavorings were not studied, researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, found that menthol, coffee, and strawberry flavors revealed a significant and intense affect on overall cytotoxicity (being toxic to cells); piña colada and tobacco flavors were associated with less cytotoxicity, according to MedPage Today.
"Our data indicate that combinations of product, voltages, and flavorings exist that are cytotoxic to airway epithelial cells," wrote Maciej L. Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, and colleagues. "Since our study focused on the acute effects of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products, our observations require verification in chronic exposure models, more relevant to regular use of ENDS products." Goniewicz also wrote to MedPage Today about calling for the flavoring compounds in e-cigarettes to be evaluated and tested to determine possible potential toxicity and safety: "Many of these flavorings have been widely used in foods and cosmetics, but they have never been tested when inhaled. With the rise of e-cigarette popularity, we need to be cautious and develop accurate and fast screening methods for inhalation effects of such flavorings."
For this study, researchers used a new testing method known as "air-liquid interface" culture (ALI). ALI allowed for direct cell exposure to ENDS aerosol generated via a smoking machine, according to MedPage Today. Different ENDS products, or a tank system pre-filled with liquids of different flavors and nicotine concentrations, were tested, as were different battery output voltages. Flavoring chemicals were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
Six types of ENDS were bought at gas stations, convenience stores, online retailers, and local vape shops in Buffalo, New York and Daly City, California. Refill solutions were bought from a Buffalo vape shop for tank systems in the five flavors tested. H292 human bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to 55 puffs of fresh ENDS aerosol, tobacco smoke, or air (controls). Assessment was conducted of in vitro cell viability, metabolic activity, and cytokines release.
"Interestingly, it was not nicotine or nicotine solvents, but other additives in e-cigarettes that affected respiratory cells used in our study," Goniewicz said, according to MedPage Today. Goniewicz and his co-researchers pointed out that the review of flavors; not flavoring compounds was a study limitation that called for further research. "Further studies are needed to investigate the cytotoxic effect of single flavoring chemicals in ENDS liquids, combinations of these ingredients, and the effects of alternate ENDS liquid products with the same flavor name. Our study indicates that testing toxicity of ENDS products should not be limited to individual flavoring chemicals, since the ENDS liquids are complex mixtures, and other product features (e.g., voltage) contribute to overall toxicity of ENDS aerosol."
FDA E-cigarette Tests
Because of its concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes, the FDA had its Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis test a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of electronic cigarettes, Smoking Everywhere and Njoy. The tests found the following:
- Diethylene glycol was detected in one cartridge at approximately one percent. Diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze, is toxic to humans.
- Certain tobacco-specific nitrosamines which are human carcinogens were detected in half of the samples tested.
- Tobacco-specific impurities suspected of being harmful to humans: anabasine, myosmine, and β-nicotyrine-were detected in a majority of the samples tested.
- The electronic cigarette cartridges that were labeled as containing no nicotine had low levels of nicotine present in all cartridges tested, except one.
- Three different electronic cigarette cartridges with the same label were tested and each cartridge emitted a markedly different amount of nicotine with each puff. The nicotine levels per puff ranged from 26.8 to 43.2 mcg nicotine/100 mL puff.
- One high-nicotine cartridge delivered twice as much nicotine to users when the vapor from that electronic cigarette brand was inhaled than was delivered by a sample of the nicotine inhalation product (used as a control) approved by FDA for use as a smoking cessation aid.
At an FDA news conference to discuss the e-cigarette test results, Jonathan Winickoff, MD, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium, expressed concerns that the devices-especially those that come in flavors-might appeal to kids. He said e-cigarettes could addict kids to nicotine and turn them into smokers.
In a statement that followed the release of the FDA test results, the American Lung Association said that it shared the agency's concerns. The group urged the FDA "to act immediately to halt the sale and distribution of all e-cigarettes unless the products have been reviewed and approved for sale by the FDA."
E-cigarette Class Action Lawsuit
Thousands of people-even children-use e-cigarettes in the mistaken belief that these devices pose less risk than traditional cigarettes. In reality, they may be exposing themselves to dangerous, cancer causing chemicals. Our e-cigarette lawyers are committed to making sure the marketers of these products pay for their deceptive claims. We are offering free case evaluations to anyone interested in joining an e-cigarette class action lawsuit.
| Legal Help For Victims Affected By E-Cigarettes
If you or someone you know purchased e-cigarettes, you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form, or call 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case with one of our e-cigarette lawyers today.