The history of electronic cigarettes (also called “e-cigs”) may go back several decades, but these electronic devices have gained a lot of popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes and cigars. There is a myriad of reasons why use of these devices has increased: some see e-cigs, “vape pens,” and “vaping” in general as a fashionable pursuit while others believe the practice of “vaping” is cheaper than cigarettes, cigars, and/or other tobacco products. Others use e-cigarettes as a method to stop smoking or reduce one’s dependence on traditional tobacco products.
Still, others are drawn to e-cig devices because of perceived health benefits – users believe, for example, that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is somehow cleaner than regular tobacco smoke and therefore does not subject the user’s body to the same sort of negative side effects typically associated with smoking. An absence of reliable information and data has helped fuel these beliefs. Now, however, a recent study has brought to light some of the long-term cardiovascular risks associated with using e-cigarette products that include nicotine – and the results of the study may prove fatal to any continuing belief that these products are harmless.
How Do E-Cigarette Devices Work?
An e-cigarette, e-cig, or vape pen (or other similar device) is rather simple: a battery is used to heat a liquid (referred to as e-juice or some other similar term). The heated liquid, in turn, produces a vapor. Vaping liquids come in a variety of mixtures that may include fruit flavors, more “traditional” tobacco flavors, and/or nicotine. Like traditional cigarette smoke, the vapor produced by an e-cigarette device can be inhaled or otherwise consumed by the user. Unlike traditional cigarettes, which may last for only a short period of time before they are consumed, some e-cigarette devices can be used for hours before the vaping liquid is gone or the battery runs out.
New Study Finds E-Cigarettes May Not Be as Healthy as Some Think
A recent study conducted by Franzen et al. and published in Vascular Medicine aimed to either confirm or dispel some of the health-related benefits being associated with e-cigarette use. In order to do this, the study monitored the vital statistics of individuals who smoked a traditional cigarette or “vaped” using either a nicotine-based e-cigarette or an e-cigarette device that did not contain nicotine. The participants’ vital signs were monitored for up to two hours after use of the produce, even though smoking/vaping was limited to only five minutes. The study found that those who had used the e-cigarette devices containing nicotine had elevated heart rates and blood pressure readings for up to 45 minutes after using the device, whereas those who smoked traditional cigarettes experienced elevated blood pressure and heart rate readings for about 30 minutes after they stopped smoking. E-cigarettes that did not contain nicotine did not produce any significant change in users’ heart rate or blood pressure.
These results should be a cause for concern for those e-cigarette users who utilize products or juices that contain nicotine. While further research is needed to fully understand the health consequences of e-cigarette use, it appears that using e-cigarette devices and products containing nicotine can be just as harmful to one’s health (if not more so) than traditional cigarettes and tobacco products.
Lack of Warnings Make E-Cigarettes Even More Dangerous
One of the reasons why this study is particularly significant is because up until now there has been little research or other information available about the health risks of e-cigarette devices – especially the long-term consequences of regular use. Certainly, e-cigarette manufacturers have generally not published any substantive information about their products, and this may be part of the reason why the myth persists that these devices are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Much as the “big tobacco” companies were called to account several decades ago for failing to adequately warn consumers of the dangers of tobacco use, so too e-cigarette manufacturers may soon find themselves in a precarious legal position if they do not take steps to adequately warn consumers of the dangers their products pose.
Manufacturers like those that make e-cigarettes and related products have a general legal duty to warn consumers about the dangers of their products. Even if a danger may seem obvious to some, manufacturers should still place warnings conspicuously on their products so as to advise as many as possible about the potential harmful results that using the product may cause. For this reason, nearly every cup that is designed to hold hot liquids will carry a written cautionary note that indicates the contents of the cup may be hot.
What is a “reasonable” warning for one product may not be reasonable for another. For example, because light bulbs are generally known to become hot when they are turned on, a warning on the packaging indicating such may be sufficient to remind consumers to exercise caution when handling bulbs. There is no pervasive myth circulating in society that suggests light bulbs actually get cold when they are turned on. Conversely, more conspicuous warnings placed in more obvious places may be necessary when the dangers of the product are not well known – such as may be the case with e-cigarettes.
Legal Assistance for Those Hurt By Dangerous Products
Imagine the financial costs to you and your loved ones if you were a regular user of e-cigarettes containing nicotine and years after you first started using these products you developed heart- and/or blood pressure-related conditions. Imagine your frustration and feelings of betrayal if you used e-cigarettes because you believed them to be a safer alternative than tobacco products. While no legal case or outcome could undo your medical conditions, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit to collect damages if you’ve been hurt by a dangerous product. A successful civil lawsuit may allow you to collect monetary damages that can address your:
- Medical bills and expenses, including the costs of tests to diagnose conditions and the treatments needed to alleviate your symptoms or reverse harm done to your body;
- Lost wages, if you must miss significant periods of work to receive treatment or if you will not be able to continue working because of health complications;
- Mental pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, due to not being able to engage in the activities which had previously brought you happiness, not being able to be engaged with friends and family, and other similar circumstances brought on because of harm caused by a dangerous product.
Contact a Dedicated E-Cigarette Cardiovascular Injury Law Firm Today
If you are a user of e-cigarette devices containing nicotine or other products and believe you have suffered health-related injuries or other consequences as a result of using the device, you may have legal rights to receive compensation. However, you must exercise these rights quickly or else you will lose the ability to recover monetary damages forever.
Call the offices of Parker Waichman LLP as soon as possible at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529). E-cigarette cardiovascular injury attorneys will evaluate your case and inform you of the rights you may have and how you can exercise them swiftly. Contact our law offices and speak with us about your case today.
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