With modern technology comes new trends in all aspects of life: fashion, entertainment, and food, to name a few. These trends also influence our vices, and one of the most recent trends to negatively impact our world is that of e-cigarettes and vaping. What was once introduced as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes is now proving to be just as dangerous, if not moreso, than the average cigarette. The problem we are now facing is not just a growing addiction to nicotine, but also a matter of false advertising from the companies that have created and marketed these new products.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes contain nicotine and a heating element that heats the liquid to produce an aerosol than can be inhaled. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some look similar in size to a traditional cigarette, and some can be as small as a USB flash drive. They can be purchased with specific flavors, and some people even use them to smoke marijuana. They go by a variety of nicknames and brands, one of which is the popular brand, Juul.
What is E-Cigarette Aerosol?
Vaping is sometimes thought to be a safer option because many believe it contains just a water vapor. But, actually, that vapor is aerosol that is made up of different components like:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
Is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking?
No, vaping is not healthier than smoking. For example, the amount of nicotine in one Juul pod is comparable to the amount of nicotine found in a pack of cigarettes. Depending on how often someone smokes, this can or can not be seen as a regular amount of nicotine on a daily basis. However, the danger lies in how the Juul pod is marketed. E-cigarettes were introduced to the market as a less-addictive option for smokers with a supposed decrease in the amount of nicotine. But, this has not proven to be true. Not only is the amount of nicotine nearly the same, but Juul pods use nicotine salts which allow a higher level of nicotine to pass through to the smoker, turning it into a more addictive option. For those who took to this trend early on, many smoked e-cigarettes more enthusiastically than they would traditional cigarettes because they were under the impression that it was a safer option so they could indulge more freely. In other words, due to false advertising, e-cigarette users probably vaped much more than they would have traditionally smoked because they were led to believe it was not as big of a threat to their health.
There is currently a lawsuit in Osceola against Juul Labs for “negligence, false marketing, and consumer protection law violations.” This is just one lawsuit in addition to several others in the nation against Juul Labs. The 2019 Food and Drug Administration exposed Juul for falsely claiming their product was a safer alternative to traditional tobacco.
How Old Do You Have to be to Legally Vape?
The common age for buying these types of products is now 21. Congress put up a ban this year against the selling of these products to anyone under 21. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared a “vaping epidemic among youth in the U.S.,” and e-cigarette companies are coming under fire for their irresponsible marketing toward children. No longer can they use flavors like certain fruits, candy, or desserts and you can not vape within 1,000 feet of a school any time of the day. The average Juul user has been high school students, and there was a significant 900% increase of minors using e-cigarettes during 2011-2015. At this point, companies are finally being held responsible for the influence they have had on the health of today's youth.
What to do if You or Someone You Love has Suffered from Vaping
Now is the time to hold e-cigarette companies accountable for the spike in nicotine addiction, especially among America's youth. If you or someone you love have struggled with nicotine addiction, poor lungs, strokes, or seizures after using e-cigarettes, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company at hand. Contact a trusted lawyer today at Keller, Melchiorre, and Walsh to determine what your next best steps should be in getting the compensation you deserve. Addiction is a serious battle, and it is up to you to take the first steps in fighting it. If your loved one is a minor, you owe it to that child to speak up on his or her behalf against the company responsible. Let us help you find a voice for those who cannot defend themselves.