August 22, 2019
From June to August, over 150 possible cases of severe lung disease were reported in Indiana and 15 other states that appear to be linked to e-cigarette use. According to the CDC report, all cases occurred in people who vape, though no single e-cigarette product has been linked conclusively to the illnesses.
What are E-Cigarettes?
Though e-cigarettes were originally marketed as an alternative to cigarettes and even as a way to stop smoking, more young people vape than adults. A recent study found that 11 percent of high school students vape.
E-cigarettes have been marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes, even though vape pods still contain nicotine, as well as chemicals that can lead to irreparable lung damage. Those who use e-cigarettes are also more likely to begin using other tobacco products.
E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid mixture that contains nicotine, which is then inhaled by the user and exhaled as vapor (hence “vaping).
E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine at a faster rate than traditional cigarettes. A single Juul cartridge roughly has the same nicotine content as one pack of cigarettes.
Juul and Rising Scrutiny
Juul is a popular e-cigarette brand among teenagers. Their colorful vape pods come in flavors like cotton candy and apple, and look like USB flash drives. Juul products are legal for people 18 and older.
Juul has recently taken steps to limit their marketing efforts to teenagers, though it may be too little too late. Parents and lawmakers have admonished Juul for deliberately marketing their products to young adults.
While Juul pods have a warning that says the product contains nicotine, there are no warnings about the dangers of lung disease.
Potential Lawsuits Against E-Cigarettes
Vaping has been linked to popcorn lung, a lung disease similar to chronic obstructed pulmonary disease. Diacetyl, the chemical that causes popcorn lung, is found in many flavored vape pods.
However, other long-term affects of vaping are not yet known—though the outbreak of severe lung disease is not a promising sign.
Lawsuits against Juul and other e-cigarette brands may become more common as time goes on. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.