JUUL & E-Cigarette Lawsuits
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E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) could be dangerous to your health. Recent tests conducted 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 potential lawsuits against the distributors of these highly dangerous products. If you or a loved one 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.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
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, in retail shops, 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 agency, 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 United States. 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.
E-Cigarette Companies Soon to Face Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As reports of at least 200 people from 22 states have become ill from chronic vaping or electronic cigarette consumption circulate, federal lawmakers appear poised to intervene. The Daily Mail reported that the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee issued correspondence to four electronic cigarette manufacturers requesting that they produce documentation to the Committee regarding the companies’ marketing practices. The request comes in response to the substantial lung problems e-cigarette users experienced within the last two months. There was no additional information concerning the level of cooperation the Committee received from the four electronic cigarette companies.
The Committee sent demand letters to the four largest, and consequently, most influential electronic cigarette companies doing business in the U.S. They are Altria (who has a 35% ownership stake in Juul Labs), Reynolds American, Japan Tobacco, and Fontem Ventures. The Committee wants to know more about the marketing strategies of these firms, coupled with any scientific research the companies have conducted as well. Specifically, the Committee wants to learn how electronic cigarettes are an effective method of smoking cessation, if at all, and how a person’s health might be adversely impacted with prolonged use of e-cigarettes. The Committee wants to know if e-cigarette manufacturers should have known about the possibility that vaping or electronic cigarette use could endanger people.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control launched an investigation to uncover the cause or causes behind why 153 people took sick with lung problems that at times mimic pneumonia. The CDC wants to know if there is a connection with between e-cigarette smoke and lung damage.
Some documents previously obtained from Juul by a different committee in Congress suggest that Juul employs a marketing scheme aimed directly at children even though the company claims its products are strictly for use by adults. The Daily Mail reported that Congress now possess e-mail exchanges that indicate Juul targeted school-aged children in its marketing efforts.
Can Vaping with E-Cigarettes or JUULs Cause a Heart Attack or Stroke?
STUDY: E-CIGARETTES CONTAINING NICOTINE ARE TIED TO AN INCREASED RISK OF HEART ATTACK, STROKE
A recent study has found that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine are becoming more and more popular as smokers are seeking to quit smoking traditional cigarettes; however, the cigarettes have been associated with increased risks for heart attack and stroke, according to a September 2017 report by The Independent.
E-cigarettes are often thought to be the next step for individuals who are trying to quit smoking, but this study suggests e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than previously believed, The Independent reported. In fact, many smokers believe that e-cigarettes are a healthier option when compared to traditional cigarettes; however, researchers from the Karolinska Institute note that, e-cigarettes, when they contain nicotine, may increase the likelihood of the e-cigarette smoker suffering a heart attack or stroke. The Karolinska Institute, a medical university in Stockholm, found that vaping devices containing nicotine might lead to stiffening of the arteries, an increase in heart rate, and increased blood pressure. In the United Kingdom, vaping is a £1billion industry and continues to grow.
For their study, the researchers recruited 15 healthy volunteers who had never smoked e-cigarettes. The research revealed that, 30 minutes after vaping, the participants experienced a significant increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and arterial stiffness. Of note, the participants who smoked e-cigarettes with nicotine experienced side effects.
The lead researcher, Dr. Magnus Lundback said that, “The number of e-cigarette users has increased dramatically in the last few years. E-cigarettes are regarded by the general public as almost harmless. The industry markets their product as a way to reduce harm and to help people to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.” He added that, although “the safety of e-cigarettes is debated, and a growing body of evidence is suggesting several adverse health effects” … “in this study we found there was a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure in the volunteers who were exposed to e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Arterial stiffness increased around three-fold in those who were exposed to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes compared with the nicotine-free group.” Dr. Lundback believes repeated usage of e-cigarettes might have permanent effects despite the small study size and that the effects in the study were temporary, according to The Independent.
Dr. Tim Chico, is a Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine and a consultant cardiologist, University of Sheffield, said that, “Electronic cigarettes are certain to have some health effects, and it is very important that non-smokers do not start using them erroneously thinking that they are harmless.”
The FDA Turns to the Criminal Justice System for Help Finding the Cause of Vaping Sickness
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now making a “federal case” out of the 8 deaths and some 530 respiratory illnesses vaping and e-cigarette use has caused in the country. The FDA expressed a desire to look under every rock to figure out why vaping and e-cigarette use has suddenly become deadly. According to the USA TODAY, the FDA will use its authority to investigate criminal activity to get to the bottom of the vaping crisis that threatens every person who seeks an alternative to tobacco consumption. *
The FDA is exploring every option it has in a desperate attempt to find the link between respiratory illnesses and vaping. The FDA collected 150 vape products and will analyze its chemical structure. The FDA will look for THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, nicotine, cutting agents, pesticides, chemicals, toxins, poisons, and opioids in the samples the agency collected. So far, the FDA has not been able to find a connection. For example, some testing revealed the presence of vitamin e acetate in some samples. Not every sample, however, contained that volatile chemical.
The data the FDA received from victims of the respiratory illnesses are mixed. Some of the people who fell ill took vaping products with THC, but others did not. Some people who got sick bought black-market vaping products while others purchased the vaping pods and other products from allegedly reputable sources.
The statistics generated to this point show that young to middle-aged males face the highest risk of falling ill. Over half of the stricken patients were under 25-years-of-age. Additionally, 66% of patients with respiratory distress caused by vaping fall between the ages of eighteen and 34.
The FDA said that it is not interested in charging individual e-cigarette consumers. Instead, the FDA plans on using its authority to investigate crimes relating to public health as a means to identify the dangerous products, who makes them, and from where can they be purchased.
THC Vape Sales Down 60% as New Evidence Shows Hydrogen Cyanide By-Product Found in Vaping Products
NEW YORK, N.Y. — The New York Daily News reports that sales of vaping products have plummeted by 60% over the last few weeks as public health officials try to figure out why people are getting sick and dying after using vaping products. Evidence obtained by NBC News after examining THC-based vaping products at a lab in California from both sellers licensed to do business in California and black market sources reveals that some black market vaping materials have myclobutanil in them. Myclobutanil is a fungicide that turns into hydrogen cyanide when heated. Doctors agree that no person should be inhaling hydrogen cyanide because of its highly toxic fumes.
Over 800 people have fallen ill, and as many as twelve have died as a result of a lung illness developed after inhaling e-cigarette or vape-based aerosol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control claim that a majority of the lung illnesses connected to e-cigarette use were from using THC-enhanced vaping products. However, not all people who got sick used THC-based vaping materials, although the vast majority did admit to using vaping materials with THC in them.
The difference between purchasing vaping materials from licensed, reputable businesses versus purchasing vaping products from unlicensed sources could be the link for which researchers are looking. Ten products purchased from unreputable sources tested by NBC News contained some form of chemical, including the fungicide myclobutanil, which turns into hydrogen cyanide when heated. Conversely, a cannabis company tested products from licensed sources and found no impurities at all.
A pulmonologist interviewed by the New York Daily News said that inhaling hydrogen cyanide would be extremely hazardous and toxic to the user. Myclobutanil is not the only additive scientists have found in vaping products. Several THC products contain vitamin e acetate, which adds potency to the effect of the THC. Additionally, there have been chemicals such as benzene, acetone, heavy metals, arsenic, polypropylene, and other potentially deadly toxins, according to an article appearing in Plymouth.WickedLocal.
Vaping Injuries Similar to Chemical Burns
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Researchers are now saying that the vaping illness suffered by about 1,000 people across the country are similar to chemical burns or exposure to harmful gases. The results of the most recent research discovery, as reported by Stat News, are a significant step toward solving the mystery of the vaping illness that threatens every person who uses e-cigarettes or vaping products. The study is limited. The researchers cannot pinpoint the chemical or component of the vaping products causing injuries. However, the researchers, who reported their results in the New England Journal of Medicine, said that the injuries among the patients are consistent among the sickened patients.
The research study contradicted findings released previously. Physicians initially believed that lipids, or oils, inhaled through e-cigarettes were causing the injuries. Doctors observed that some patients’ lungs were lined with oils inhaled from the vaping products. The conclusions drawn from the latest research will help doctors identify new cases of vaping illnesses as people with breathing problems seek emergency medical assistance. The results of the study will also help researchers narrow their focus as to what might be causing the injuries.
Public health officials speculate that the injuries are caused by products possibly purchased from the black market, which Stat News called “informal sources.” Those claims have not been verified in any formal manner.
The study captured biopsies from seventeen people who all received a diagnosis of vaping-related injuries. Two of the patients died of the disease. All of the biopsies showed signs of pneumonitis, which is swelling of the lung tissue and airways. Researchers determined that 70% of the patients biopsied took marijuana vaping products, which closely approximates the results of a survey of sickened patients. The results of the survey suggest that 87% of the sickened patients used vaping marijuana products. The remaining thirteen percent of the sickened group used nicotine only.
E-Cigarettes Pose Lung Cancer Risks According to a New NYU Study
USA- Cnbc.com writes that e-cigarettes, such as those manufactured by Juul, are likely to be hazardous to human health and that they pose cancer risks, not unlike normal cigarettes. The study, which was conducted at New York University, looked at the impact of vaping on mice. The mice were exposed to either e-cigarette smoke with nicotine or e-cigarette smoke that did not contain nicotine. The results indicated that the mice exposed to nicotine in e-cigarette smoke had a high rate of lung cancer and pre-cancerous lesions on their bladders.
Vaping has become popular as an alternative to smoking, and it has proven highly attractive to many young people. The flavored nicotine formulas have been criticized for their tendency to attract teens and other individuals who may not have ever been drawn to tobacco cigarettes. Many people believed that vaping was a much safer alternative to smoking that did not expose a user to many of the toxins found in cigarettes. More recently, e-cigarettes have come under scrutiny as studies have indicated that many of the toxins in cigarettes are also present in e-cigarette smoke.
The NYU study showed that the nicotine smoke impacted mice DNA and inhibited the lung tissue from healing. Last February, a study conducted at the University of Southern California indicated that e-cigarettes caused the same changes in oral tissues as traditional smoking.
The studies show that e-cigarettes are most likely unsafe for human use. The researchers say that it could take years, possibly a decade, before the link between cancer risks and e-cigarettes in humans is fully understood. The researchers say that the mice were exposed to vape smoke equivalent to a person who regularly vaped for somewhere between 3 and 6 years. The lead researcher also indicated that vaping was bad
FDA Investigation Uncovers Reports of 127 Seizures Linked to E-Cigarette Usage
UNITED STATES – According to an online news article published by www.cnbc.com, the FDA is continuing a month’s long investigation into reports of 127 seizures following the use of e-cigarettes.
As e-cigarettes continue to gain popularity, especially among teenagers and young adults, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking measures to determine how safe e-cigarettes are, and what potential dangers e-cigarettes pose to consumers. The FDA has received reports of seizures and e-cigarette usage, prompting an investigation that began in April of 2019 to determine whether there is a causal link between e-cigarette use and the development of seizures. Data reviewed by the FDA in April 2019 was generated over 10 years.
The FDA has asked that consumers come forward if they have experienced seizures after using e-cigarettes. The FDA’s announcement prompted an additional 92 reports of seizures which may be linked to e-cigarette usage. While the FDA has not established a clear link between using e-cigarettes and the development of seizures, the former FDA commissioner considers 92 reports over a matter of months to be “concerning.”
Because the FDA’s investigation into e-cigarette use and seizures is ongoing, the FDA is asking customers to continue reporting their experiences. The collection of additional data will help the FDA have a better understanding of how e-cigarettes have the potential to cause health conditions, including, but not limited to, seizures.
The FDA makes clear that comorbidities and risk factors may play a role in one person’s development of seizures after using e-cigarettes. However, by continuing its investigation, the FDA hopes to uncover, among other matters, whether certain consumers may be at higher risk of suffering from seizures than others, whether certain brands or types of e-cigarettes are linked to seizures more so than others, and whether the nicotine content versus other chemicals may be to blame for contributing to the development of seizures.
Nicotine in very high quantities can be poisonous for users. Even short of toxic levels, nicotine can cause nausea, sweating, dizziness, and tremors. Poisonous levels of nicotine have been known to cause seizures and even death in some individuals. As such, the FDA’s investigation will help to determine whether nicotine itself has played a role in many consumers’ reports of seizures, or if something else about the e-cigarettes may be to blame.
Mysterious and Life-Threatening Illnesses Linked to Vaping and Counterfeit THC Oil Vials
Updated - September 4, 2019 (NEW YORK) – On August 31, 2019, an eighteen-year-old man was rushed to the emergency room at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, New York. The eighteen-year-old man was suffering from severe respiratory difficulties, dizziness, and vomiting. The chief pediatric pulmonologist who treated the man stated, “Luckily, he survived.” The man’s brother found Marijuana vials in the young man’s bedroom, and this is believed to be the cause of the life-threatening condition.
Law enforcement and public health officials believe that some of the illnesses may be linked to contaminated, counterfeit THC vials. However, numerous studies suggest that non-THC vape oils have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, seizures, neurological developmental issues in children, cancer, pneumonia, and death. In the past several days, two young adults have died due to vape-related medical events.
Why Is This Becoming an Epidemic?
The number of youths and young adults using vape products has sharply increased by over 400%. The Federal government is alleging the sharp rise in the popularity of vape pens, e-cigarettes, JUULs, and other vaping devices among children and young adults are due to the marketing practices of vape device and oil manufacturer. The FDA recently began regulating e-cigarette brands as well as vape stores that blend their e-liquids. Also, the FDA has set a deadline that requires all e-cigarette device, and e-liquid manufactures to apply for marketing authorization. Each manufacturer of vape devices and e-liquids are now required to submit packaging, ingredient lists, labeling, features, and all marketing information to the FDA for approval.
Numerous physicians across the nation are reporting similar, frightening cases of pulmonary distress and serious illnesses brought on by the body’s reaction to vaping oil residue found in the lungs of young adults and teenagers. Currently, there are nearly 220 cases of severe lung damage and respiratory distress illnesses that have been reported in 25 states. Dr. Melodi Pirzada, the pediatric pulmonologist who treated the eighteen-year-old man, stated that something is very wrong and that this outbreak of vape-related illnesses is likely to become an epidemic.
Do You or Your Loved One Have a Monetary Claims?
If you or someone you love has suffered severe, adverse side effects after using a vape pen, JUUL, or e-cigarette device, please seek medical attention and then contact Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for your free case evaluation. You or your loved one may be able to file a claim and recover significant monetary compensation
Study: Vape Pens, Juuls, and E-cigarettes May Be as Harmful as Tobacco Cigarettes
A University of Connecticut (UConn) study found that e-cigarettes are potentially as harmful as tobacco cigarettes, according to June 2017 Science Daily report.
The chemists used a new device that rapidly detects carcinogenic chemicals and DNA damage from e-cigarette vapor and summarized that, “Nicotine-based e-cigarettes are potentially as harmful as unfiltered cigarettes when it comes to causing DNA damage, new research indicates.” In fact, according to Science Daily, “The results of tests conducted by UConn chemists show that nicotine electronic cigarettes are equivalent, if not slightly worse, than unfiltered (nf) tobacco cigarettes when it comes to causing DNA damage. Non-nicotine (nn) e-cigarettes cause damage similar to filtered tobacco cigarettes,” the researchers added.
The team used a new 3-D printed testing device and found that e-cigarettes containing a nicotine-based liquid are potentially as damaging to DNA as unfiltered cigarettes. The researchers also found that vapor from non-nicotine e-cigarettes caused the same level of DNA damage as filtered cigarettes, potentially due to the many chemical additives found in e-cigarette vapors. Cellular mutations caused by DNA damage may lead to cancer, according to Science Daily. The study results appear in the journal ACS Sensors.
The degree of DNA damage e-cigarettes cause is dependent on the amount of vapor the smoker inhales, other additives present in the device, if nicotine or non-nicotine liquid is used, and other factors, according to Karteek Kadimisetty, a post-doctoral researcher in UConn's chemistry department and the study's lead author, wrote Science Daily. "From the results of our study, we can conclude that e-cigarettes have as much potential to cause DNA damage as unfiltered regular cigarettes,” Kadimisetty added.
The UConn researchers reviewed if the chemicals in e-cigarettes might cause damage to human DNA while also testing a new electro-optical screening device the researchers developed. The small 3-D printed device is believed to be the first device of its kind that is quickly capable of detecting genotoxicity (DNA damage) in environmental samples in the field, according to the researchers, Science Daily reported.
The testing device uses micropumps that push liquid samples across multiple so-called “microwells” that are embedded within a small carbon chip. The microwells are pre-loaded with reactive human metabolic enzymes, as well as DNA. When the samples are dropped into the microwells, new metabolites with the potential to cause DNA damage develop. Reactions between the metabolites and the DNA generate light captured by a camera. Within five minutes, users are able to see how much relative DNA damage a sample produces by the intensity of the light that is seen in each microwell, Science Daily explained. The uniqueness of the device is that it is able to convert chemicals into their metabolites during testing, replicating what occurs in the human body, Kadimisetty said.
Bioassays used today to determine the genotoxicity of environmental samples may be more comprehensive; however, they are also often time-consuming and costly, while the array developed at UConn provides an important initial screening tool for genotoxicity in a significantly shorter period of time—just minutes. The chip central to the device is also disposable and costs just $1 due to 3-D printing advances. "What we developed is very cheap to make, efficient, and can be used by almost anyone," said UConn chemistry professor James Rusling, the study’s senior researcher. In fact, affordable and efficient "labs on a chip" is a specialty of Rusling's lab. These were previously created miniature arrays that are able to detect antibodies to food allergens and cancer biomarker proteins. According to Rusling, similar arrays could be potentially used for quick genotoxic screening during drug development, for monitoring or testing fresh water supplies, and for the early detection of aggressive forms of cancer.
For this study, the researchers extracted samples from e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes by using an artificial inhalation technique. The cigarettes were connected to a tube containing a cotton plug. Researchers used a syringe at the other end of the tube that replicated inhalation. Samples were taken from the chemicals found in the cotton. The team created their test for 20 puffs of an e-cigarette, which is roughly the same as smoking a single tobacco cigarette. This ratio, according to Science Daily, has been supported by other research. The team gathered samples at 20, 60, and 100 puffs and found that the potential DNA damage from e-cigarettes increased with the number of puffs, Kadimisetty noted. "Some people use e-cigarettes heavily because they think there is no harm," he said. "We wanted to see exactly what might be happening to DNA, and we had the resources in our lab to do that."
There is the potential of hundreds of chemicals in e-cigarettes that might add to DNA damage, according to Kadimisetty. UConn did not test for every chemical, but did target three known carcinogenic chemicals that are found in tobacco cigarettes. “The researchers loaded their device's microwells with specific enzymes that would convert those chemicals into metabolites. If these chemicals were in the sample, the test gave them a reading for genotoxicity. If the chemicals were not present, there would be no reaction,” reported Science Daily.
Study Suggests E-Cigs May Carry Heart Disease Risk
E-cigarettes have risen in popularity within the past decade. They are often marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking or as a smoking cessation tool. However, experts point out that these devices have not been on the market long. As such, we know little about the long-term health consequences of vaping (the process of smoking an e-cigarette). Safety advocates have favored regulating e-cigarettes, especially with regard to marketing toward adolescents. Studies have also shown that e-cigarettes and JUULs are not completely harmless. In December 2016, a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis found that taking ten puffs on an e-cigarette triggered changes associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The study was conducted by Swedish researchers at the world-renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Sixteen participants who seldom smoked were randomized into groups that were either exposed to vaping or not. Those in the vaping group were asked to take 10 puffs on an e-cigarette for 10 minutes. Blood samples were taken at baseline, and 1 hour, 4 hours and 24 hours after exposure to e-cigarettes.
Study authors reported a "rapid rise" in the level of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) within the first hour. Increased levels of EPCs indicates damage to the inner lining of blood vessels. The "very short exposure to e-cigarette vapor … may indicate an impact on vascular integrity leading to future atherosclerosis," the authors wrote. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries; this narrows the flow of blood and leads to cardiovascular disease, which can manifest as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
In fact, it took 24 hours for EPCs to return to normal. The authors found that the increased levels of EPCs following vaping with the e-cigarette was comparable to that of smoking one traditional cigarette, concluding that, "In healthy volunteers, ten puffs of e-cigarette vapor inhalation caused an increase in EPCs. This increase was of the same magnitude as following smoking of one traditional cigarette, as we previously demonstrated. Taken together, these results may represent signs of possible vascular changes after short e-cigarette inhalation. Further studies analyzing potential cardiovascular health effects are critical as the e-cigarette market continues to burgeon."
Professor Joep Perk, heart specialist and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, expressed concern and surprise that short exposure to e-cigarettes could trigger such physiological changes. "It really surprises me that so little vapor from an e-cigarette is needed to start the heart disease ball rolling." he said, according to the Daily Mail UK. "It's worrying that one e-cigarette can trigger such a response."
Further studies are needed to determine if long-term e-cigarette users have a higher risk of developing heart disease. However, the researchers pointed out that the average user takes 230 puffs daily, suggesting that this type of exposure could lead to significant health consequences.
This is not the only study to suggest that vaping may trigger changes leading to atherosclerosis. In August 2016, researchers from the University of Athens Medical School presented findings at the world's largest cardiology conference suggesting that puffing on an e-cigarette for half an hour produced similar changes in stiffness in the aorta compared to tobacco cigarettes. Both products also increased blood pressure. E-cigarettes are less harmful [than smoking tobacco] but they are not harmless." said lead researcher Professor Charalambos Vlachopulos at the time. "I wouldn't recommend them as a method of giving up smoking." Also, in July 2016, a group of 13 health bodies in the United Kingdom issued a statement advocating that conventional smokers should switch to e-cigarettes because evidence shows they are substantially less harmful. However, not all regulatory bodies or experts agree. In the United States and Europe, regulators have taken a more precautionary approach.
Dr. Filippos Filippidis, lecturer in public health at Imperial College, London, told the Daily Mail UK, "Only time will tell who is right, but my personal opinion is that some more caution would be prudent until the evidence is more clear." He pointed out that, "Very soon, major tobacco companies will enter the market with their own e-cigarettes or similar products that promise harm reduction. I would feel very uncomfortable promoting products created by companies which have caused so much death and pain. I don't think we could trust them with our people's health."
Filippidis also emphasized the need for more research, stating "We don't know whether we may start to see diseases emerge in ten or 20 years' time associated with some of the ingredients. We urgently need more research into the devices."
Research Reveals that E-Cigarette Flavoring and Battery Voltage are Tied to Cellular Toxicity
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."
Study Shows That E-Cig & JUUL Flavorings May Pose a Risk to Heart Health
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have flooded the marketplace over the past five years, presenting an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes that is appealing to many existing smokers. Free from the smell of traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have many attributes that traditional cigarettes do not have. Not only do smokers like the idea of smoking a device that is essentially a vaporizer, but many non-smokers like the fact that the emissions from an e-cigarette are unlike second-hand smoke, and the smell does not stick to clothing or hair like traditional cigarettes.
However, e-cigarettes carry many risks that healthcare professionals and smokers are only beginning to learn about. Not only have e-cigarettes injured users from spontaneous explosions caused by lithium-ion batteries, but the nicotine and other chemicals contained in e-cigarettes can be just as damaging or even more damaging than the tobacco and nicotine contained in traditional cigarettes. Additionally, because e-cigarettes are still relatively new, very few laws and regulations exist to ensure consumers understand the negative health consequences of using e-cigarettes, especially teens and young adults, a growing group of individuals jumping on the e-cigarette bandwagon.
As an example of the underreported dangers of e-cigarettes, a report by the U.S. Fire Administration called e-cigarettes whose batteries had failed "flaming rockets" and declared that with regards to the lithium-ion battery, "It is clear that these batteries are not a safe source of energy for these devices."
A New Risk of Using JUUL Pods or E-Cigarettes – Flavorings and Cardiovascular Disease
A recent study demonstrates a new risk of using e-cigarettes that may come as a surprise to many people. According to a study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, e-cigarette flavorings pose a health risk to users separate and apart from the nicotine and other chemicals present in e-cigarettes. The study specifically found that in laboratory tests that exposed cells that mimicked those found in a human’s cardiovascular system, the presence of e-cigarette flavorings triggered blood vessel dysfunction. Such a reaction may increase the chances a person will develop heart disease. The study found that the two most toxic flavorings were menthol and cinnamon.
While the study is certainly not conclusive of how e-cigarette flavorings affect a user’s cardiovascular system, the study does demonstrate that further testing and research is necessary to determine the multiple risks of using e-cigarettes. Additional testing and research can help the federal and state governments regulate e-cigarette manufacturers, ensuring that e-cigarette users are fully aware of what risks are associated with using smokeless devices. The results of such testing and research can shape the types of warnings that may be required on e-cigarette packaging.
Additionally, because so many teenagers and young adults have picked up the habit of using e-cigarettes (many of which never used traditional cigarettes to begin with), an urgency exists to find out the long-term consequences of using e-cigarettes, such as the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and various cancers. It took time for the tobacco industry to come clean about the link between using traditional cigarettes and lung cancer. As such, health professionals and researchers may feel compelled to act quickly to ensure all e-cigarette users know what they are getting into before deciding to inhale what has proven to be a product just as addictive as traditional cigarettes.
FDA Finalizes Rules for E-Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products
On August 8, 2016 a new FDA rule went into effect regarding regulation of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah and pipe tobacco. The agency was given the authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products in June 2009, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The new rule expanded this authority to include all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and pipe tobacco, as well as nicotine gels and dissolvables.
The new FDA regulations mandate health warnings on cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and certain other tobacco products. Free samples are also banned under the new rule. Tobacco products that were introduced after February 15, 2007 will now have to be authorized by the FDA, proving that the products meet certain standards. The new rule also places an age restriction on newly regulated tobacco products, prohibiting sales to anyone under the age of 18 and requiring photo identification. Additionally, tobacco products cannot be sold in vending machines unless they are sold in an adult-only facility.
"Before this final rule, these products could be sold without any review of their ingredients, how they were made, and their potential dangers," said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, according to the FDA Consumer Update page. "Under this new rule, we're taking steps to protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco products, ensure these tobacco products have health warnings, and restrict sales to minors."
The agency noted that "some tobacco products have the potential to be less harmful than others. But more evidence is needed. The agency is exploring this issue with respect to tobacco regulation."
New York Governor Mario Cuomo Signs Tobacco 21 Into Law
July 16, 2019 (New York) – According to an online news report from NewYork.CBSlocal.com, New York Governor Mario Cuomo signed new legislation into law that raises the legal age to buy tobacco products, e-cigarettes, JUUL devices and other vaping devices from age 18 to age 21. The new state law will take effect on November 13, 2019, which is 120 days after the bill has become law.
Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law to help prevent youths from obtaining dangerous and highly addictive tobacco products and vaping devices. Governor Cuomo also stated that this law would help “prevent an entire generation of New Yorkers” from forming expensive and life-threatening addictions. The governor also blames the underage e-cigarette epidemic on what he calls “marketing campaigns aimed directly at young people.”
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly 90% of adult smokers begin using tobacco products under the age of 18. Also, the U.S. Surgeon General statistics show that 90% of those who illegally purchase cigarettes and tobacco products for minors, were between 18 and 20 years of age.
The new law called “Tobacco 21” is a popular law that has been passed in sixteen other states. Hundreds of local communities throughout the United States have passed similar laws that ban the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. In the state of New York, cities such as Albany, New York City, and Long Island have already passed local ordinances raising the legal age of tobacco sales and e-cigs to 21.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins stated that New York’s new Tobacco 21 law would save lives, reduce health issues such as cancer and prevent children from developing this unsafe and potentially deadly habit.
E-cigarettes have been under fire by health organizations due to the surge of underage users. Numerous health issues have been linked to vaping and e-cigarettes provoking the FDA to require vape device and “vape juice” manufactures to apply for FDA approval. One recent case of top concern is the tragic death of an underage boy who died of nicotine toxicity while using a vape device
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 cause kids to become addicted 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."
JUUL, E-cigarette Class Action Lawsuit in 2019
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.