We all know how dangerous smoking tobacco cigarettes can be, and the public awareness campaigns against tobacco products as cancer-causing have been very successful. Which means that there are going to be people out there thinking of ways to provide alternatives to these smokers and former smokers. It makes sense that innovative products will be introduced into the American marketplace to substitute for toxic tobacco products.
Voila, the electronic cigarette!
In recent years, E cigarettes have not only been introduced to Indiana, Illinois, and the rest of the country, but these alternatives to conventional tobacco cigarettes have become extremely popular — especially among teenagers and young adults. In fact, it is estimated that the manufacturers of E cigarettes have created a new industry with revenues already exceeding $2 billion a year. That’s a big business.
What are Electronic Cigarettes?
E cigarettes were first seen in China as a new product sold as a means of quitting smoking. That changed fast.
Today, these gizmos have become popular in their own right all over the world. One reason? Their vapors contain nicotine which is inhaled through a vapor. Other reasons include:
- E cigarettes can mix the nicotine vapor with chocolate, strawberry, or other tasty flavors.
- They don’t have ash; you don’t need ashtrays.
- They can be used in places that tobacco cigarettes cannot because e-cigarettes don’t give off smoke.
- They can be packaged in all sorts of fun ways (like the image above, where they resemble fountain pens).
Rising Popularity of Electronic Cigarettes
Most users of E cigarettes think there choosing a more healthy alternative to smoking the traditional tobacco cigarette. They are also opting for a cheaper and less messy alternative than the traditional tobacco cigarette.
However, E cigarettes are still delivering nicotine to the user’s system. How much nicotine, and the dangers of inhaling nicotine vapor as opposed to nicotine smoke, is still not clear.
Dangers of E-Cigarettes
Studies have shown that e-cigarette vapors can harm the lungs and cause serious damage. For instance, one new study published in the Journal Of Toxicology And Applied Pharmacology has shown that e-cigarettes are as dangerous to the user as if the user were inhaling nitrous oxide: both causing a reduction in lung function and a higher risk of cardiac arrest.
Indiana and Illinois Attorneys General Push FDA To Regulate Marketing of E-Cigarettes
Now, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have formally requested that the FDA adopt new rules regarding e-cigarettes.
Zoeller’s and Madigan’s request has been co-sponsored with the attorney generals of Massachusetts and New York, along with 25 other state attorneys general.
They want advertising and marketing of these products to be regulated in the same way that tobacco cigarette advertising is controlled — meaning, no marketing to kids.
If Zoeller and Madigan’s request is accepted by the FDA, then E-cigarettes will be further regulated pursuant to the Food, Drug And Cosmetic Act, as are other tobacco products.
Until changes are made to federal law, however, these popular vapor cigarettes are not considered to be “tobacco products” subject to the FD&C Act. Accordingly, teenagers and young adults are free to buy these trendy products in vending machines, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, and elsewhere without being asked for identification, for example, or having any warning of dangers being shown on the product packaging.
Hurt By E-Cigarettes? Then You May Be Covered By Defective Product Laws
If you or a loved one has been injured by inhaling an e-cigarette, or otherwise harmed by the liquid contained in the product or its vapors, then you may have a product liability claim against its manufacturer as well as others (such as the store where the gizmo was purchased.) These manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of electronic cigarettes are aware of the risks and dangers of these products, and are freely selling these gizmos to teenagers and young adults (and other users) without regard for the risks involved. There are no standardized warnings on these things, like there are on many other products, for instance.
Accordingly, if you or someone you love has been hurt or injured from using an electronic cigarette, then it is up to you to investigate the possibility of a claim against these e-cigarette businesses to find justice. The law and regulations protecting the safety of consumers has not kept up with the marketplace here and right now, individuals must seek justice for themselves in cases of harm, injury, and death from these things.