Starting in March of 2019, individuals began presenting symptoms of lung injury associated with vaping- or the use of electronic cigarettes. Cases grew substantially over summer, peaking in August and September. Since then, thousands have suffered lung injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, as of February 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from across the United States. This includes no fewer than 68 deaths.
With these startling numbers, e-cigarette users and non-users alike have been asking themselves, “What’s causing these illnesses?” While the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are currently investigating the issue, we do know a few things for certain.
What Do We Know About the E-Cig Lung Injuries?
Evidence has long since suggested that the prolonged use of e-cigarettes can be dangerous. E-cigarettes may contain less tobacco than a typical cigarette, but they contain copious amounts of nicotine, which is addictive and dangerous in its own right. Additionally, other studies have suggested that the chemical components in e-cigarettes are dangers, though this still hasn’t been enough to deter many users. Enter the recent outbreak of serious e-cigarette-related lung injuries:
The injury has been termed “EVALI,” for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury. Thankfully, after spiking in September of 2019, the number of EVALI cases have decreased somewhat steadily, and research facilities have a few theories as to what may have caused these serious conditions.
What’s Causing These Lung Injuries?
According to National and state data from patient reports and product sample testing collected by the CDC, most of these injuries are connected to the component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC has become the most dangerous when received from informal sources, such as homemade e-cigarette products, or those sold from online distributors.
Vitamin E Acetate
Research also points to the dangers of Vitamin E acetate, another common component of e-cigarettes. In fact, Vitamin E acetate has been discovered in product samples tested by FDA and state laboratories, and also in patient lung fluid samples tested by CDC. By contrast, Vitamin E acetate has not been discovered in the lungs of non-EVALI cases.
Because investigation is still underway, it isn’t yet safe to rule out other chemical components of e-cigarettes as potential sources of contamination. Research by the CDC, and other notable labs have also discovered samples of other chemical components in their tests, but we have yet to learn of any conclusive data that tells us of other dangerous chemicals.
Do You Have a Case? We Can Help!
Attorney Rene Flores at The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC is passionate about fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured, and he can help with your e-cigarette case. As a forensic lawyer-scientist, he has extensive knowledge of the scientific aspects of his client’s cases, and he can use his experience to help support your case. If you were wrongly injured, our firm can help you pursue compensation and justice.
Call (956) 606-3606 today to discuss your e-cigarette lung injury with our team at The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC.