Looming Lawsuits; CDC Warns Against E-Cigarette Devices
The war on vaping is heating up as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a stance and made an official advisement against vaping in lieu of three deaths that occurred from seemingly vaping-related respiratory illnesses.
Vaping has been on the rise in the past few years, but the electronic cigarettes touted to be a safer alternative to regular cigarettes is especially popular among teenagers.
While openly embraced during its beginnings, with injuries and illnesses being reported, lawsuits against various vape and e-cigarette producers have become commonplace.
According to the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to e-cigarette company, Juul, for their violations of advertising their product as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes.
The company itself already has a collection of lawsuits regarding individuals who have become addicted or suffered respiratory illnesses. The company currently runs campaigns suggesting they “switch off” combustible cigarettes and use their e-cigarettes instead.
House Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois talks about how Juul’s marketing campaign blurs the lines between quitting smoking and simply replacing one nicotine product with another. Given that they market their products as a safer alternative to smoking, their marketing could be considered problematic since no evidence has yet to be produced to prove that.
“Regardless of where products like e-cigarettes fall on the continuum of tobacco product risk, the law is clear that before marketing tobacco products for reduced risk, companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful,” said FDA commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless.
Juul has ignored the law and made statements that it is safer both directly and indirectly, according to the letter from the FDA. The study of the effects of vaping in general are still in its early stages.
Up to now, most lawsuits filed against e-cigarette companies have been related to defective products: devices that suddenly explode or catch fire while in the user’s pocket, mouth or hand. Nowadays there has been an increased focus on the adverse health effects from their usage.
This has also concerned doctors treating vaping-related illnesses, noting that their patients aren’t long-time smokers, but rather young individuals who are “relatively” new to nicotine.
In the meantime, the CDC wants people to stay away from vape and other e-cigarette devices while they figure out what exactly is causing the issue behind the recent deaths.
If substantial evidence is found that e-cigarettes are a major cause of the slew of illnesses, then it would be a major boost for lawsuit arguments against vape and e-cigarette companies as well as a case maker for the increased regulation of the industry.