Electronic cigarettes are a new gizmo in the American marketplace. They are marketed as either “e-cigs” or “e=cigarettes” or “personal vaporizers” and they run on battery power. The smoker inhales warm vapor that is heated by the gizmo and tastes good from flavors placed into the vaporizing liquid from nicotine and any number of flavor components. Flavors that appeal to lots of kids.
Right now, there’s lots of discussion on how these e-cigarettes are being marketed by the electronic cigarette manufacturers. This week, the New York Times published an article entitled, “E-Cigarettes Are Targeted at Youths, Report Says,” reporting on a Congressional inquiry into the safety and health issues surrounding these popular products.
These devices are very popular among young people, and it’s a growing concern that the electronic cigarette manufacturers are targeting teenagers and college-age kids in their advertising. These devices are currently being debated in how best to regulate them — federal law regulating them as a medical device was struck down by a federal court and now federal focus is upon the gizmos as a tobacco product. Filling in the gap are various state legislatures, passing laws regarding the use and sale of electronic cigarettes that may not be the same as the legislation passed by a sister state.
Meanwhile, during all this controversy, there remains the real worry that e-cigs are hurting people.
CDC: Popular E-Cigs Are Poisoning People
Electronic cigarettes are supposed to help people because they replace the dangers of inhaling tobacco smoke, but the CDC has released a new study that warns e-cigarettes pose a danger all their own. Specifically, e-cigarettes can poison people with nicotine and people can die from nicotine, it’s a toxin. With an e-cigarette, there is liquid inside the devices that is part nicotine, and victims are poisoned by that nicotine either by swallowing it, sniffing it, or taking it through their skin or eyes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a staggering increase in the number of emergency calls made to poison centers across the country because of e-cigarette poisoning. In September 2010, there was a single call; in February 2014, there were 215. That’s a jump of 41.7% in e-cigarette poisoning calls.
Sadly, a little over half (51.1%) of these poison center emergency calls because of e-cigarette poisoning were for kids under the age of 5 years old.
“This report raises another red flag about e-cigarettes – the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue. E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children.”
If you or a loved one has suffered injury from an e-cigarette, then you may have a claim under state products liability law against the manufacturer.