The Link Between Vaping and Lung Disease
The meteoric rise of life-threatening lung disease associated with e-cigarette vaping has been alarming health officials over the last year. As of late November 2019, there were 2,290 reported cases of vaping-related lung disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Forty-seven people are confirmed to have lost their lives due to e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). These numbers are expected to climb, and it’s possible that some cases have gone unreported.
A closer look at vaping devices
E-cigarette vaping products have been aggressively marketed by the manufacturers as being a safer alternative to cigarettes. However, since the introduction of these devices into the marketplace, health officials have cautioned the public that the potential short-term and long-term health effects are unknown. The long-term effects are still a mystery, but the short-term effects are becoming quite clear: Vaping products can cause life-threatening lung disease.
E-cigarettes contain three main components. A battery provides the electricity, a cartridge contains liquid, and the heating component heats the liquid. The composition of the liquid itself varies, but generally includes nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, and flavorings, and may include THC.
While some of these ingredients, such as propylene glycol, are generally considered safe as a food additive, there isn’t enough information to determine if they are safe for use when inhaled.
A chemical of concern
The exact causal link between vaping and lung injuries is still under investigation. The CDC is conducting exhaustive tests and chemical analyses to determine why people are getting seriously sick from vaping products.
However, one of the most recent updates from the CDC identifies vitamin E acetate as “a chemical of concern.” Vitamin E acetate was identified as a possible culprit after CDC scientists conducted lab testing of fluid samples from patients with EVALI in 10 different states.
Vitamin E acetate was found in all samples of vaping products sold in 2019. However, CDC scientists did not find the chemical in any samples of products sold earlier than 2019. Since the vaping lung disease outbreak started in 2019, it seems possible that this is the source of the disease.
Vitamin E acetate was added to vaping products as a filler ingredient. It’s an oil that is readily obtainable by black market THC vaping product manufacturers. These black-market suppliers use the ingredient to dilute the THC in their illicit products.
However, it should be noted that the CDC’s investigation is still ongoing. It isn’t definitively known that vitamin E oil is the cause of the outbreak, or whether there is another chemical involved in inflicting lung injuries. The lack of sufficient regulatory oversight in the industry is a matter of concern for public health officials and patients alike.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a lung disease after using vaping products, you may have the basis to file a lawsuit. Our experienced Juul lawyers at Chaffin Luhana will review your case and answer any questions you may have about the litigation process.
We review cases nationwide, and our attorneys have recovered over $1 billion on behalf of their clients. Call or text today, or chat us online to learn more.