A partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes takes effect February 6. The ban will affect most e-cigarettes that use pre-filled pods. These cartridges are designed for one-time use and have been embraced by teens. Sales of fruit-, dessert- and mint- flavored pods will be outlawed; menthol and tobacco flavors will escape prohibition. Originally made popular by Juul Labs, these products are sold widely in vape shops and are ubiquitous in convenience stores and gas stations.
The partial ban comes shortly after an alarming report on vaping issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On January 21 the CDC reported that a total of 2,711 hospitalized EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) cases or deaths have been reported from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Of those hospitalizations, 60 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
The goal of the partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes is to reduce youth vaping, which health officials say has reached epidemic levels. The recent CDC report has to raise the question, Is it enough? Approximately half of the EVALI hospitalizations were teenagers and recent Federal Data showed that almost 28 percent of high school students had vaped in the previous 30 days, up from less than 12 percent in 2017.
Promoting vaping as a “safe” alternative to smoking ignores the respiratory dangers associated with the practice. Many of the EVALI cases reported were “popcorn lung,” which is the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious and irreversible lung disease that can damage the smallest airways in your lungs, resulting in coughing and shortness of breath.
Vaping works by heating liquid and turning it into steam to be inhaled. The problems are believed to arise when nicotine is mixed with solvents and oils to help in the delivery process. When the solvents, or oils, heat up to create an inhalable vapor oil droplets may be left over as the liquid cools back down, and inhaling those drops may cause breathing problems and lung inflammation. One of the common products found in vaping oils and pods is vitamin E acetate, which according to the CDC, has been found in product samples tested by the FDA and state laboratories and in patient fluid samples tested by the CDC. Vitamin E acetate has not been found in the lung fluid of people that do not have EVALI. Other common ingredients found in vaping are propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and benzoic acid – which are approved for ingesting, not for inhaling.
The Surgeon General of the United States has gone so far as to declare vaping, and specifically youth vaping an epidemic. If you, your child, or a loved one are suffering from the consequences of vaping, which may include respiratory illness, seizures, nicotine addiction, or nicotine illness, you may be entitled to collect damages for the pain and suffering caused by the makers of these dangerous vaping products. Please call Saunders & Walker at 1-800-748-7115 for a free consultation
Admitted to practice law in all federal multidistrict litigation courts, the California State Bar and the Florida Bar. His philosophy is to provide aggressive, quality representations and seek fair compensation for individuals and their families who have suffered injury, death, or sexual abuse.