Morgantown, WV: West Virginia is seeing an increase in the number of people using e-cigarettes as well as those who have been injured by them. The batteries for these devices can explode or cause severe burns, making it all too easy to become seriously hurt by these devices.
Smokers are turning to “smokeless” cigarettes because they believe these products are a safer and more acceptable alternative. That said, regular cigarettes never explode causing disfiguring burns all over your face or causing blindness. The batteries can combust into flames after shorting out, becoming overcharged, or overheated.
E-Cigarette Injury Lawyers in West Virginia
Supporters say these products have helped thousands of people quit and have helped millions cut back on their cigarette smoking. In all fairness, I have personally heard the testimony of former cigarette smokers who have been helped by this product and am truly glad to hear of their progress. Even so, these products are attractive, especially to the young, and the health problems which will present in the future are yet unknown. E-cigarettes can be every bit as damaging, addictive, and dangerous as traditional cigarettes.
There have been a surprising number of cases since the release of e-cigarettes to the public that have caused life-altering, serious injuries. We are a team of product liability attorneys who have over 30 years of experience helping the injured receive just compensation for their injuries.
In some cases, e-cigarettes have ignited or exploded in the user’s pocket or worse yet, they can explode while in the mouth. An exploding e-cig can also cause permanent scarring, blindness, jawbone fracturing and lost teeth. EVALI, meaning e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury, affects users in a wide variety of ways including tissue damage shortness of breath, fever and chills, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and chest pain according to the American Lung Association.
- As of February 18, 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
- Sixty-eight deaths have been confirmed in 29 states and the District of Columbia (as of February 18, 2020).
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recorded between 10-49 cases in West Virginia.
A new study out of West Virginia University suggests that rural e-cigarette users are older—and often get sicker—than their urban counterparts.
Researchers with the WVU School of Medicine are investigating severe lung injuries occurring among e-cigarette users in rural Appalachia. In a recent study, Sunil Sharma—section chief of pulmonary/critical care and sleep medicine at the School of Medicine—and his colleagues present a case study of patients with EVALI (electronic cigarettes and vaping-associated lung injury) admitted to WVU hospitals from August 2019 to March 2020.
This is consistent with findings of the National Institute of Heath: “The majority of EVALI patients were critically ill requiring ventilation or ECMO. The most severely ill patients were noted to be positive for iron stains in macrophages and showed higher volatile organic compound (VOC) levels in chemical analysis. Based on our experience, EVALI in rural Appalachia presented with relatively severe respiratory failure. Worse outcomes appear to be correlated to high levels of VOCs, iron deposition in lungs, and concomitant infection.”
Why do E-Cigarettes Explode?
China is considered the world’s foremost manufacturer of e-cigarettes, but many are cheaply made with bad battery designs. This has led to fires and explosions in vape shops across America due to manufacturing defects that cause gas pressure from thermal runways not being adequately vented–even though these same factories typically produce high-quality products for other industries. The fake brands or knockoffs can be dangerous because they might contain recycled materials instead of genuine components. There have also been cases where companies buy rejected lithium-ion cells from levied suppliers which rewrap them into new packages.
•· Right now, e-cigarettes are just beginning to be regulated by the FDA, which has created a “wild west” environment for manufacturers and distributors.
•· The quality of e-cigarettes and the e-liquids is largely inconsistent.
•· One teaspoon of the liquid nicotine used in these e-vaporizers (which sometimes contain flavorings like cherry, chocolate, and bubble gum) is enough to kill a child. Of course, children should not have access, but child poisonings are occurring.
•· Most of the nicotine from an e-cigarette is absorbed through the cheeks rather than in the lungs. Have you ever seen someone with oral cancer?
•· In 2013, 365 people were referred to hospitals for nicotine poisoning from these e-liquids.
•· Complaints of injury linked to e-cigarettes, from burns, nicotine toxicity, respiratory and cardiovascular problems have jumped to new levels.
•· E-cigarettes are now becoming a problem in our local schools because it is easy for a minor to get their hands on an e-cigarette because they are not currently regulated as a tobacco product.
•· The liquid stimulant used in e-cigarettes, when injected or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting, seizures, and death.
•· A number of e-cigarettes have exploded out of their chargers, causing facial injuries and fire.
If you have been injured by a defective consumer product in your home, workplace, or in your car, you are entitled to seek money damages for your medical care, lost earnings and pain and suffering.
Questions? Call the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today: 1-304-594-1800 for a free consultation, or visit our website to find answers or begin an online chat 24/7.
If you have questions about injury claims, download our free, no-obligation report for the answers you need today.
Miami Herald, “Crime Watch: Reader is Horrified by Dangers of E-cigarettes,” by Carmen Gonzalez Caldwell, May 15, 2014.
Deseret News, “Man sues after e-cigarette explodes in his face,” by Dennis Romboy, November 3, 2014.