E-Cigarettes Are Bad for Your Health

E-Cigarettes May Have More Nicotine Than Conventional Cigarettes

One way that e-cigarettes are bad for your health is they contain nicotine.  Here’s an alarming fact.  According to Dr. Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Norwell Health, “e-cigs pack more nicotine than cigarettes.”

E-Cigarette Juice in Vaporized Form May Damage Your Lungs

Another way that e-cigarettes are bad for your health is that they can damage your lungs.  According to a laboratory-based study published on Friday in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers have discovered that the “juice” or chemical flavorings and additives in e-cigarettes can cause inflammation of the lungs, which may be worse in some cases than the damage caused by conventional cigarettes.  The studies were conducted on mice and showed extensive inflammation to the subjects’ lungs triggered by inhalation of the e-cigarettes heated juice.  There was no reported evidence that the inflammation posed a cancer risk.

The authors of the study argued that this is the type of study that should have been conducted before e-cigarettes were widely marketed over ten years ago.  E-cigs are marketed as a means of helping wean smokers off conventional cigarettes.  Vaping has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry and is now spreading to teenagers and adults who were never smokers.

When these products were released to the market in 2006-2007, the manufacturers represented to consumers that the products were a safe alternative to smoking.  Manufacturers based their safety claims about e-cig flavorings on approvals already in place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a variety of food additives. The chocolate, bubble gum, cherry and other flavors are similar to the artificial flavors and colors in candies and other junk foods.

Folan underscored Friday that compounds deemed safe to ingest as food were never approved by the agency to be inhaled into the lungs. Only now are medical analyses exploring these issues — and the problems they may cause, she said.

The battery-powered e-cigarette devices dispense a vapor generated from liquid, flavored chemicals. A so-called “e-liquid” contains a slurry of compounds, including propylene glycol, a colorless chemical with a faintly sweet taste. That compound is routinely used in the food and cosmetic industries. Also in the e-liquid mix are potent amounts of nicotine and fanciful flavorings.

The medical community is already aware that a food additive can cause devastating lung damage based on the irreparable pulmonary problems endured by workers nearly two decades ago in factories that made microwaveable popcorn, she said.  Some inhaled large quantities of a chemical called diacetyl used in popcorn manufacturing to impart a buttery taste and wound up having to undergo lung transplants.  “The medical condition is called bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung,” Folan said of  the inflammatory disorder that caused scar tissue and was triggered by a food additive.

Chinese-Made E-Cigarette Batteries May Explode in Your Face or Pocket

Another way that e-cigarettes are bad for your health is that they are prone to blowing up.  We have published a series of blogs about the alarming number of exploding e-cigarette battery incidents in this country.  In most e-cigarette explosion cases, the lithium-ion battery causes the explosion.

Lithium-ion batteries are made of combustible chemicals that are separated by a thin, porous film. In a defective battery, this film might fail, allowing the chemicals to combine too quickly. The rapid combination of chemicals in turn causes fires and explosions. Another common defect found in cheap, Chinese-made e-cigarette batteries are manufacturing defects like burrs and debris inside the battery which can pierce the separator and allow an internal short-circuit, which in turn leads to thermal runaway.  Since the venting in these batteries is also often sub-par or non-existent, the thermal runaway leads to an explosion.

While lithium-ion batteries are a time-tested and relatively safe technology, the batteries in an e-cigarette are very different than the ones in your smartphone or laptop. In most electronic devices, a plastic case or pouch holds the lithium-ion battery. When a battery failure happens, a fire can occur, but the case or pouch will not become pressurized and explode.

In contrast, the tube-shaped lithium-ion batteries in an e-cigarette sit inside a small metal canister. When the battery fails, pressure and heat quickly build in this sealed space. Eventually, the excess pressure finds a release at one of the two ends, which are an e-cigarette’s weakest points. This can cause a rupture at one end that shoots the e-cigarette across a room like a rocket.

For more information concerning the facts and myths about e-cigarette explosions, please read these links to our past blogs.

What Do I Do After an E-Cigarette Explosion?

If you or a loved one suffers serious burns from an e-cigarette explosion, immediately remove the burning clothes and get into a bathtub full of cold water to extinguish the burning flesh.  Then go immediately to a hospital with a burn unit.  E-cigarette explosions can cause serious burns and other injuries that require emergency treatment, and sometimes immediate burn care can prevent worsening scarring or the need for skin graft surgery.

You should also document the explosion and its impact through pictures. Take photos of your injuries and the damage caused by the explosion. And make sure to retain the e-cigarette system and any debris it left behind when it exploded, as this will provide important evidence for any legal action.  This especially includes the exploded battery, which can be tested by CT scanning.

Finally, you should contact the experienced e-cigarette injury lawyers at Phelan Petty. Our firm has represented multiple e-cigarette explosion victims, and we understand the nuances of these product liability claims. Our team collaborates with respected engineers, physicians, and other experts so we can reconstruct the device failure, document your injuries, and identify the responsible parties.

Phelan Petty: Experienced Virginia E-Cigarette Lawyers

At Phelan Petty, we use our extensive knowledge of product liability law and e-cigarette litigation to fight for our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a defective e-cigarette, schedule your no-risk consultation with one of our attorneys today by completing our easy online contact form or calling 866-249-3164.

About Michael Phelan

Michael Phelan has been consistently recognized for his excellence as a trial lawyer, his commitment to research, his outstanding communication skills, and his sincerity and dedication. As one of his valued clients said, “Mike puts his heart into it."