Vaping was originally touted as a safer alternative to cigarettes with all their additives — but a spate of serious lung injuries across at least 33 states has thrown the entire industry under a microscope. Investigators are trying to figure out what is suddenly causing massive respiratory illness among those who vape.
At least 450 cases of vaping-related lung disease have been reported in 33 states. Several people have died. In many cases, the previously healthy teens or adults had only vaped a few times before they began experiencing difficulty breathing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have jointly advised that people stop vaping altogether until doctors have figured out a definitive cause for what they are seeing. There are suggestions that oils used in some vape products may be causing an immunological response in victims that similar to sepsis.
The rash of injuries has focused renewed attention on just how little oversight is on vape pens or the liquid cartridges they use. The FDA allowed many vaping products to hit the market without review — which might have kept some dangerous products off the market. Adding to the trouble, there are a lot of “black market” or knock-off vape pens and cartridges out there being sold cheaply at gas stations and smoke shops alike. These cheap models may be made with inferior materials that are outright dangerous to humans.
Lung injuries related to vaping are likely to continue making news in the future and will probably lead to product liability lawsuits in the near future. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are all under an obligation to keep dangerous products away from unknowing consumers. If you or your loved one have been injured by vaping, find out more about your legal options.