E-cigarette use is now being linked to cases of sudden respiratory distress requiring hospitalization, a further sign that JUUL and other e-cigarettes are not as safe as their marketing leads people to believe.
Doctors say they are concerned that the cases of respiratory distress frequently arise in youth and young adults who are otherwise healthy.
JUUL teens often begin using vape devices because they believe vaping is safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. So far, not a lot of research has been done on JUUL health effects and the long-term consequences of vaping, but the research that has been done shows that there are still serious JUUL side effects because vaping exposes users to potentially toxic chemicals.
At Cutter Law, we have years of experience fighting against companies that market their products as safe only to have consumers suffer terrible consequences.
Our track record includes lawsuits against Big Tobacco, holding the tobacco industry accountable for its actions in misleading smokers. We have also successfully litigated against an e-cigarette company for its exploding battery.
CDC E-Cigarette Warning
On Aug. 17, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning that it and five states are investigating a cluster of pulmonary illnesses linked to vaping.
The CDC noted that the illnesses mentioned primarily affected adolescents and young adults and that although five states are involved in the investigation, additional states have reported possible cases.
According to the CDC, there were 94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping in 14 states between June 28, 2019, and August 15, 2019.
Of those, 30 cases were reported in Wisconsin. Additional cases were reported in Minnesota and Illinois, as well as various other states.
E-cigarette use appears to be the commonality between the cases, though further investigation is needed to confirm the exact cause of the lung illness.
An NBC report notes that doctors in Minnesota initially treated four teens at Children’s Minnesota for a respiratory infection, but hospital-administered treatment for the infection made the symptoms worse.
Patients wound up in intensive care, and at least one patient wound up in a medically induced coma.
On Aug. 15, 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued a warning regarding 15 confirmed cases of severe lung disease in people who recently vaped or were exposed to vaping marijuana oils, extracts or concentrates.
The department further reported 15 possible cases that are under investigation. Patients who were hospitalized reported shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, chest pain and weight loss.
All confirmed cases reported the use of e-cigarette products in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized. Patients experienced symptoms of varying severity, but some reportedly required assistance breathing.
All improved with treatment, but the department notes that officials do not yet know if there are long-term health effects associated with respiratory illness. Doctors also say it is not clear if all patients will fully recover.
Health Officials Looking into Vitamin E Link
Health officials investigating the recent hospitalizations of more than a hundred e-cigarette users say they have found drastically high levels of vitamin E acetate in almost all of the cannabis-containing vaping-related products they analyzed. Products such as candy-flavored vapes were also found to have vitamin E acetate.
Vitamin E acetate is often sold as a nutritional supplement and is not known to cause harm when ingested either in supplement form or when applied to the skin.
It does have properties that could cause negative effects when it is inhaled, however, which is why health officials continue to look into it.
As of September 6, more than 450 people in 33 states have been hospitalized with severe lung disease potentially linked to vaping. At least four deaths have also occurred.
So far officials say there has not been anyone substance or product linked to all cases, indicating there could be multiple causes for the spike in respiratory illnesses.
Investigators are also considering the possibility that mixing ingredients in e-cigarettes could create a new toxic chemical that causes severe lung problems.
A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the first 53 cases of respiratory distress in Illinois and Wisconsin. Researchers looked at lung scan imaging patterns and said the scans showed different patterns, potentially indicating different causes of the injuries.
At least one of the patterns has been linked to lipoid pneumonia when oils or lipid substances enter the patient’s lungs.
Lawmakers Call on FDA to Crack Down on E-Cigarettes
Following news of the sharp increase in severe respiratory distress in patients, US Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin demanded the FDA take steps to regulate e-cigarettes and their flavors. Durbin said if FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless did not do so within 10 days, Durbin would request his resignation.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy asked the FDA to take appropriate action against JUUL. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi sent the letter after a two-day hearing in July that saw the committee conclude that the e-cigarette maker was violating FDA regulations in making unapproved claims that its product is safer than tobacco cigarettes.
Michigan announced it would ban stores and e-commerce sites from selling flavored e-cigarettes for the next six months.
JUUL Wet Lung
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS, otherwise known as wet lung) is a serious pulmonary condition that initially appears similar to the flu but can quickly deteriorate.
Patients experience nausea, rapid and shallow breathing, low blood-oxygen levels, confusion, and extreme fatigue.
JUUL pods contain nicotine at levels similar to those found in tobacco cigarettes, potentially exposing JUUL kid users to extreme side effects because their brains and lungs are still developing.
JUUL says a JUUL pod contains the same nicotine as a pack of tobacco cigarettes, but experts say that means e-cigarette users are exposed to higher levels of nicotine because the tobacco cigarette filter would trap some of the nicotine.
Study Suggests Cardiovascular Changes After Only Using E-Cigarettes Once
A study published in the journal Radiology showed that vaping even once temporarily changes blood vessel function in even healthy people.
Researchers used MRI scans to show that participants experienced changes to the flow of blood in the femoral artery in their leg after using an e-cigarette just one time.
Although the patients’ blood flow returned to normal within a few minutes, researchers are concerned that long-term, regular e-cigarette use could prevent the changes from reversing as quickly or at all.
Along with concerns about respiratory distress and cardiovascular changes, experts are examining a possible link between e-cigarette use and seizures.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is examining this possible link between e-cigarettes and seizures, after receiving 127 reports of seizures or other neurological issues as far back as 2010.
Teen JUUL Respiratory Distress
Scientists are looking to determine why clusters of respiratory distress are now occurring, but there are some factors that could play an important role.
Unlike adults, teen lungs have not developed fully so they could be more susceptible to irritation and other adverse effects of vape chemicals. The aerosol that teen vape users are exposed to contains heavy metals and tiny toxic particles that can penetrate the user’s lungs.
Additionally, acetals—chemicals found in some JUUL e-cigarette liquids—can also be highly irritating for the lungs.
Should I File a JUUL Lawsuit?
Teen JUUL users who have no previous experience with smoking were led to believe JUUL was safer than smoking and was harmless on its own. These e-cigarette users now find themselves facing serious JUUL side effects, including respiratory distress and addiction.
JUUL targeted marketing to youth to encourage them to use the devices, knowing there was a potential risk thanks to exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. In fact, JUUL’s marketing was similar to that used by Big Tobacco to convince the public that smoking was safe.
A JUUL lawsuit is the only way to hold this company accountable for its misleading marketing, which convinced young consumers that the e-cigarette device was safe.
Attorneys Filing JUUL Lawsuits
Attorneys at Cutter Law are investigating JUUL lawsuits on behalf of teenagers who developed respiratory damage as a result of JUUL use.
If you or your child started using JUUL as a teen and it was the first regular nicotine exposure, it’s in your best interests to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Cutter Law have in-depth knowledge and extensive resources to litigate a JUUL claim.
Our experience includes successfully fighting against Big Tobacco and e-cigarette companies to obtain justice for our clients.
We will conduct a thorough investigation into your situation, including speaking with experts and obtaining necessary medical paperwork to provide the strongest case possible.
Our personal injury attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients by refusing to back down against companies like JUUL and will put the same dedication into your claim that we do for every client.