Whether you have smoked for years or never smoked at all, vaping may have seemed like an attractive alternative. You can enjoy the experience of smoking, add flavorful oils and decrease your nicotine intake gradually if you choose to stop smoking. Unfortunately, this has not been the experience for many who try electronic cigarettes.
With little government oversight, the vaping industry, and particularly Juul Labs, seems to have targeted young consumers, including teens. Many parents have been concerned that their kids have taken up vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. However, agents at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging consumers to stop using all e-cigarettes while they conduct an investigation into potential product defects that may be causing illness across the country.
Why are people getting sick?
You may have heard reports that over 800 people have suffered serious symptoms related to their use of e-cigarettes. This lung illness causes shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting, among other distressing symptoms. If you have experienced these symptoms after using an e-cigarette, you should see your doctor immediately. The CDC reports that at least 12 people have died and that people in Texas and 45 other states have reportedly fallen ill. Doctors warn that many of those have suffered irreversible lung damage.
Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine or other substances into your body, and you can buy those substances at special stores, online or even on the street. However, since it is not yet clear where the cause of the lung disease originates, the CDC suggests you stop using any vaping product.
What happens next?
Juul has agreed to suspend all advertising of its e-cigarettes, and lawmakers are calling for tighter regulations. This may include forbidding manufacturers from marketing or selling to teens and more oversight into the types of oils and flavors that are available to vapers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now in the middle of a criminal investigation into why e-cigarettes are causing people to become ill and die.
Several states have already taken steps to ban certain vaping products, and retailers like Walmart have discontinued sales of e-cigarettes and related items. If you are like others who are suffering from using a device that its manufacturers advertised as safer than cigarettes, you may wonder what your options are. By speaking with a legal professional who advocates for injured consumers, you can learn what steps you can take to seek justice for your suffering.