Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

photo of e-cigarette

Millions of Americans are using electronic cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigs or e-cigarettes, use lithium-ion batteries to heat propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin into clouds of flavored vapor. For many former and current smokers, e-cigs come with many advantages. You can choose from thousands of flavors – including doughnut, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, blueberry, mint, Crème brûlé, nacho cheese, Red Bull, and thousands of others. E-cigs can generally be used indoors without causing a lingering or permanent odor. However, e-cigs have also attracted a lot of negative attention.

E-Cigarettes and Health Problems

We still don’t know what all of the long-term health effects of vaping might be. Some e-juice (the name for the juice heated up by the e-cig) flavors contain aldehydes, which are common food flavoring agents. Aldehydes are associated with pulmonary issues, such as bronchitis or infections, when inhaled.

Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance. For many people, quitting is an extremely difficult prospect. Remember, addiction causes changes to the human brain. Powerful prescription drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are sometimes required to overcome nicotine addiction (or addiction in general).

It is already known that frequent nicotine use can lead to serious health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nicotine use has adverse effects on adolescent brain development. The CDC also maintains that adolescents who use e-cigs are more likely to use cigarettes as adults. For adults, nicotine addiction can lead to cardiovascular problems that increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. Pregnant women should stay away from nicotine at all costs, as it can lead to birth defects or preterm delivery.

Other Problems with E-Cigarettes

E-cigs have attracted negative attention for other reasons. Dozens of consumers have suffered serious injuries caused by lithium-ion battery explosions. Lithium-ion batteries in e-cigs can undergo a “thermal runaway effect”, which leads to rapid overheating. E-cig users have suffered third-degree burns and blast injuries.

E-cigs are also marketed as a smoking cessation device. However, data released by the federal government suggests e-cigs are not effective at getting people to quit smoking. According to the Centers for CDC, 58.8 percent of users fail to kick their habit.

Juul Labs Inc. (Juul), the largest electronic cigarette company by sales, has essentially become the focal point for discussing some of these issues. Consumer safety groups accuse Juul of marketing “kid-friendly” e-cig flavors to teenagers. Teenage e-cig use has increased by 75 percent since last year, which led the FDA to take action. In fact, the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that more than 3.5 million teenagers use e-cigs. The FDA is banning the sale of fruit or candy flavored e-cigs at convenience stores and gas stations.

While Juul is a very popular company, there are hundreds of other e-juice and e-cig companies currently operating within the United States and abroad.

Our New Jersey Personal Injury Law Firm

Keefe Law Firm is a New Jersey personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling cases against large companies. If you or a loved one suffered harm after using an electronic cigarette, our attorneys can help you determine if you have options to recover compensation. Call us at (732)224-9400 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.