In August, the New York Times reported that an 18-year-old man had appeared in the emergency room of a Long Island hospital, complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath. When one of his attending physicians asked if he had been vaping, the young man firmly denied it.
The patient’s brother, a police officer, wasn’t so sure. He checked the teenager’s room and found vials packed with marijuana for vaping. Fortunately, the young man survived, but his case joined a growing series of headlines about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
The Times estimated that last summer, over 215 patients were treated for serious illnesses related to vaping. Some of them ended up in the intensive care unit while others spent weeks on a ventilator fighting for their lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement warning people to stop high-risk activities like buying e-cigarette products on the street and vaping adulterated substances.
Vaping among young people
Vaping has been held up as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Some people started vaping to make it easier for them to quit smoking, while others embraced the habit without ever having touched a cigarette. It’s a trend that’s highly popular among teenagers: according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, the number of high school students who admitted to vaping went up by 78%.
Vaping devices come in a variety of styles, from pens and pods to e-cigarettes. Most are battery-powered and simple to refill, while others are disposable and meant to be thrown away after the liquid is gone.
What are the dangers?
The vapor that comes from a vape mod or e-cigarette may contain addictive substances like nicotine or marijuana and cause heart and lung-related cancers. Other chemicals in vape juice, such as vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol, have been known to irritate the airways and lungs after concentrated exposure.
Explosions are another risk. The United States Fire Administration reported that between 2009-16, 195 vape-related fires or explosions caused 133 acute injuries. According to media reports, there have been two deaths related to vape explosions in 2018-19.
The main cause appears to be the lithium-ion batteries that power most vaping devices. Injuries include:
- Third-degree burns
- Second-degree burns
- Facial disfigurement
- Loss of a body part
Contact a New York personal injury attorney
If you or someone you love is diagnosed with lung disease due to vaping or suffers a severe injury after a device explosion, then it is imperative that you contact a New York personal injury attorney who can help you hold the vaping implement companies responsible for the damage they have caused. When supporting a fad becomes dangerous, penalties can result. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx personal injury and accident lawyer. He has helped many clients recover money for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-person initial consultation to learn more.