As tobacco litigation continues to increase the price and consequences of smoking cigarettes, smokers are embracing alternatives to support their habits. Enter, the e-cigarette, which purports to replicate the smoking experience without any of the harmful side effects found in traditional cigarettes. The devices were first developed in China and came into the US market in 2007. Instead of tobacco however, the devices heat up the liquid inside, which is a combination of nicotine, flavors, and other artificial ingredients. The e-cigarettes are rechargeable like a phone and the liquids are refillable. As smokers are vaping up, the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking to challenge that notion of no harmful side effects after some recent findings on these devices.
Liquid nicotine is toxic and it can be lethal when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. As the market for e-cigarettes has increased, emergency calls related to the use of e-cigarettes has increased as well. There is also a concern that dangerous metals are also inhaled during the vapor process from the components of the device.
In 2014 the Food and Drug Administration has released new regulations for these products. Until this time, e-cigarettes do not have to report the contents of their products and recent testing has found that in many instances there are dangerous chemicals not for human consumption and the levels of nicotine inaccurate. The FDA has attempted to correct this, although the companies contend that their product should not be subject to FDA regulations.
There are still health risks with these products. The vapor has had side effects for those who inhale the vapor, even for those who choose nicotine-free liquids. Some studies have shown them to be just as addictive as cigarettes.
The WHO is concerned with these findings and the marketing of the product to children. Many e-cigarettes come in fruity and candy-like flavors, and without nicotine, enticing children to the product. Naturally, the tobacco companies involved in the e-cigarettes have asked for small steps to be taken until more research is done. Research up until this point has been mixed with regard to the danger of the e-cigarettes. Only time will tell if e-cigarette legal issues will become as big as traditional tobacco litigation.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.