Despite being marketed as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, e-cigs have recently been found to produce formaldehyde and other dangers toxins such as diacetyl. Additionally, e-cigarette devices have been reported to explode, causing fires and serious burn injuries.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an injury after smoking or accidentally being exposed to an e-cig, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: E Cigarette Lawsuit Filed in Kansas
April 30, 2018 – A Kansas man who claims the spare battery to his electronic cigarette exploded inside his pocket and caused him severe burn injuries has filed a products liability lawsuit against the vape shop where he purchased the device. The explosion was a result of metal from some of the other items plaintiff had in his pocket interacting with the spare battery in a way that caused a short leading to a “thermal runway,” the complaint states.
What’s the Problem?
Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or ecigs) are handheld devices that deliver liquid nicotine and other substances in vapor form, which is inhaled by the user. E-cigs come with a rechargeable heating element, cartridge and atomizer.
The problem with these devices is two-fold: for the user, electronic cigarettes may produce cancer-causing toxins that are unknowingly inhaled in the form of vapor. From a marketing perspective, e-cigs present a danger to public health since they are advertised to a younger group of consumers with seemingly innocuous flavors ranging from cotton candy to bubble-gum. The sweet odors produced by vaping has lured some children to drink the liquid and become poisoned. Additionally, inhalation, direct skin and/or eye exposure can cause acute nicotine toxicity.
Side Effects of E-Cigs
- Nicotine poisoning/toxicity
- Accidental inhalation
- Skin/eye exposure
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Ex-Navy Seal Suffers Burns, Laceration in Vape Explosion
May 15, 2017 – A U.S. Navy veteran from Dallas, Texas, who claims he was severely burned when his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket has filed a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer, and distributor of the device. Plaintiff Matthew Bonestele claims that his LG Chem HG2 18650 battery exploded in his right pants pocket, causing third degree burns to his right leg and puncturing his right thigh.
Navy Bans E-Cigarettes Over Exploding Battery Concerns
April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Navy is banning e-cigarettes and portable vaporizers from its aircraft, ships and submarines after receiving multiple reports of the devices’ batteries exploding, catching fire and injuring sailors. Malfunctioning e-cigs have forced at least one aircraft to land, started fires on ships and left multiple sailors with severe burns. Vape injuries have occurred when the devices were being used, charged or replaced, or when they came into contact with other metal objects.
1 in 4 Children Exposed to Secondhand Smoke from E-Cigs, CDC Study Finds
April 3, 2017 – A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that nearly one-quarter of teens in the U.S. has been exposed to potentially dangerous secondhand vapors from electronic cigarettes over the past 30 days. Children who were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke were also more likely to be exposed to secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes, CDC found.
E-Cigarettes a “Major Health Concern,” Surgeon General Says
January 16, 2017 – A new report from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is calling e-cigarette use a grave threat to the youth of America, adding to a heated debate over whether the practice is safer than traditional cigarette smoking. The report found that e-cigarette or “vape” use among U.S. high school students has jumped 900% since 2011, and described in scientific terms how young people with developing brains are sensitive to nicotine.
FDA to Investigate Exploding E-Cigarettes
January 4, 2017 – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to hold a 2-day public meeting in April to discuss the dangers of exploding batteries in e-cigarettes and vapes. The Associated Press reported in December that the agency had identified at least 66 e-cigarette explosions between 2015 and early 2016.
Lawsuits Allege Vapes Explode, Burn Florida Men
November 29, 2016 – Two Florida men who allegedly suffered severe burns from exploding e-cigarettes have filed lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers of the devices. A vape exploded in James Dardini’s pocket in December 2015, requiring emergency room treatment and surgery in a burn unit, according to a lawsuit filed in Volusia Circuit Court. Another complaint was filed in the same court on behalf of James Lauria, a 23-year-old man from Cobb County, Georgia, who suffered severe injuries after his e-cig blew up in his face while he was vaping on July 29, 2015.
Study Reports on How to Improve Safety of E-Cigarettes
August 1, 2016 – Electronic cigarettes or “vapes” could be made safer by improving control over their operating temperature and reducing deposits on heating elements, according to a study published Wednesday in Environmental Science & Technology. The study could help decrease the risks of e-cigarettes while retaining the benefits of a smoking cessation device, according to the researchers.
Orange County Man Hospitalized After E-Cigarette Explodes in his Mouth
June 10, 2016 – A man from Tustin, CA., spent a week in the hospital after an electronic cigarette exploded in his mouth, according to CBS News. 26-year-old Jesse Milk suffered second-degree burns and had a piece of the e-cig lodged in his tongue when he arrived at the hospital.
“He had to be taken to surgery immediately so that this part of the E-cigarette that was embedded in his tongue had to be removed, and then his tongue had to be repaired, along with the lip area around it,” said Andrea Dunkelman, director of the OC Burn Center.
Oklahoma Man Sues E-Cigarette Store After Device Explodes in his Mouth
June 8, 2016 – A 22-year-old man from Muskogee, Olka., has filed a lawsuit against a local vape shop after an electronic cigarette exploded in his mouth, according to FOX23 News. Plaintiff Michael Williams is suing E-Ciggeez, an e-cigarette store in Muskogee, alleging that the company was negligent in their marketing and sale of the device. Williams claims he was permanently disfigured and suffered vision damage as a result of the explosion; the complaint also names the e-cig manufacturer and company who made the casing as defendants.
Tennessee Man Suffers Broken Neck, Multiple Injuries from Exploding E-Cigarette
May 31, 2016 – Cordero Caples was hospitalized and forced to undergo spinal surgery after suffering a broken neck, facial fractures, shattered teeth and severe burns after an electronic cigarette manufactured by Kangertech exploded in his mouth, according to CBS News. The 29-year-old spent 10 days in the hospital, and still has not been able to return to his job as an automobile detailer.
“He has a hard time moving his body,” said Colessia Porter, Caples’ sister. “How much of a range of motion he’ll have is something we just don’t know.”
California Man Files Lawsuit After Losing Eye in E-Cigarette Explosion
May 23, 2016 – Orange County resident Joseph Cavins was vaping at home last month when his e-cig exploded, starting a fire and sending hot shrapnel into his eye, according to the Orange County Register. “It felt like a metal baseball bat had hit the side of my face,” Cavins said.
Doctors said the e-cigarette hit his face so hard that it cracked his eye socket and sinus bones, and left shrapnel embedded in his eyeball, which they were unable to save. Cavins filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against several e-cigarette manufacturers and sellers.
FDA Imposes Strict New Regulations on E-Cigarettes
May 9, 2016 – New rules issued by the FDA aim to bring electronic cigarettes and vapes under the federal government’s regulatory power. The regulations will require manufacturers of the devices to go through a pre-market authorization process before they can be sold. Additionally, minors will not be able to purchase the products, and they will have to come with child-resistant packaging. The new regulations will also require manufacturers to register with the FDA and include health warnings on their packaging and in their advertisements.
E-Cigs Affect Lungs Immediately, Study Finds
April 26, 2016 – A study published this month at the 2016 CHEST World Congress found that electronic cigarettes cause airway obstruction and inflammation in both healthy as well as asthmatic users; however, the effects were more severe in those with asthma.
“These results show that as it happens with cigarette smoking, e-cigarette smoking has more deleterious short-term effects on asthmatics compared with healthy smokers,” said Dr. Andreas Lappas of the Hellenic Cancer Society. “Additionally, this research adds to the growing body of research pointing to the dangers of e-cigarettes. Especially for asthma, further research is needed in order to assess the risks of long-term e-cigarette use.”
Millions of Kids Targeted by Electronic Cigarette Ads, CDC says
January 5, 2016 – Massive amounts of electronic cigarette marketing is being aimed squarely at America’s teenagers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today. CDC Director Tom Frieden says the concern is that the e-cigarette industry will grab youth by using the same advertising themes — rebellion, independence and sex appeal — the tobacco industry used in decades past to lead kids to smoking and tobacco addiction. Click here to learn more.
E-Cigs Linked to Popcorn Lung, Study Finds
December 8, 2015 – A study released today by the Harvard School of Public Health has found that more than 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and liquids contain diacetyl, a chemical that causes popcorn lung. Medically known as bronchiolitis obliterans, popcorn lung is an irreversible disease in which the tiny air sacs in the lungs become scarred. Click here to learn more.
Electronic Cigarette Timeline
2003 – Invention of Electronic Cigarettes
Hon Lik, a 52-year old chain smoker from Beijing, China, designs the 1st successful e-cigarette after his father dies of lung cancer. Over the next 5 years, electronic cigarettes manufactured by Ruyan are marketed in the U.S. and Europe as a way to safely stop smoking traditional cigarettes.
2008 – WHO Slams E-Cigarette Marketing
In Sept. 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that marketers should immediately remove any claims that electronic cigarettes are a safe way to quit smoking due to a lack of scientific evidence. Soon thereafter, a study funded by Ruyan finds e-cigs to be 100-1000x less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, adding that the devices administer nicotine to the upper airways, not the lungs.
2009 – FDA Discourages E-Cig Use
In May 2009, FDA releases the results (PDF) of a test of 2 popular electronic cigarette brands, NJOY and Smoking Everywhere, which finds “very low” amounts of nicotine in cartridges labeled as nicotine free. Two months later, an FDA press release recommends against the use of e-cigs, saying they contain carcinogens and diethylene glycol, an ingredient contained in antifreeze.
2011 – Vapes Explode in Popularity
Studies find high interest in e-cigarette use among the American public; Google searches for e-cig, vapes and other related terms are higher in the U.S. than in any other country.
A questionnaire of 3,500 electronic cigarette users finds that most use the products because they believe them to be less toxic and cheaper than traditional cigarettes, and will help them quit or significantly cut down on tobacco smoking. Nearly 80% of ex-smokers in the study are concerned they will relapse if they stop using e-cigarettes.
2012 – E-Cigarette Use Among Children Doubles
CDC announces that e-cigarette use among U.S. middle school students doubles from 2011 to 2012, warning that vaping among children may act as a gateway to traditional tobacco use.
2013 – Conflicting Studies Over Whether E-Cigs Help Users Quit Smoking
Several studies published indicating that electronic cigarettes are not as effective a tool for smoking cessation as previously believed. A cross-sectional study of more than 1,800 tobacco smokers finds a link between e-cig use and “unsuccessful quitter” status, but none with “quitter” status.
Another study finds e-cigarette users far less likely to be tobacco-free 7 months after they first try vaping compared to test subjects who never use the products.
2014 – Poison Control Center Calls Skyrocket
CDC releases data indicating that the number of calls about nicotine e-juice to poison centers rose from a 1 call per month in 2010 to 215 calls per month in 2014. Over half of the calls involved children under the age of 5 ingesting, inhaling or getting the juice in their eyes or on the skin.
2015 – Is Vaping Safe?
A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study finds that when heated by high voltage batteries, e-cigarettes release formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).
Another study (cited above) finds a chemical flavoring called diacetyl at higher than laboratory normal levels in 39 of 51 e-juices tested. Diacetyl has been linked to an irreversible lung disease called bronchitis obliterans, commonly known as “popcorn lung.”
Do I Have an Electronic Cigarette Class Action Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in e-cig lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new electronic cigarette injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered an injury after smoking or accidentally being exposed to an e-cig, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and we can help.