How Safe Are E-Cigarettes?
There are very few people who cannot cite the inherent risks associated with smoking or chewing tobacco. But, what about electronic cigarettes? Just how safe are e-cigarettes?
What are E-cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes (nicknamed e-cigarettes) present in a number of “fashionable” accessories. Some look like traditional cigarettes, while others resemble pens. Some e-cigarettes look like elaborate pipes. Their appearance is not their commonality, although they may be part of the attraction. The story behind e-cigarettes is the method in which nicotine is ingested. It is done without burning tobacco, which certainly sounds safer than regular cigarettes.
How do E-cigarettes Work?
Traditional smokers light up a cigarette to inhale nicotine. Alternatively, those who use e-cigarettes are inhaling from an aerosol. Liquid is placed into the designated spot of the e-cigarette and then heated to a boiling point. The vapor that is inhaled allows the user to get their nicotine fix in a different fashion. In addition to nicotine, the liquid may be flavorful to give it a distinct taste. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees tobacco products, there are no regulations involving e-cigarettes.
What are the Dangers?
The American Lung Association is quick to point out the perils of e-cigarettes. First, there are concerns that there are no true regulations in place for the many manufacturers of the units. The fact that nicotine is still the key ingredient in most e-cigarettes is disconcerting. Besides its propensity to lead to addiction, nicotine has other troubling characteristics. It can harm the brain function of babies in utero, as well as contribute to lung disease. There may also be unknown chemicals in the different mechanisms. These too could lead to problematic illnesses.
What about accidents? According to news reports, the fact that e-cigarettes are battery operated can be an issue. One young man reported that an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. Another was severely burned when the batteries caught fire in his pants. Apparently the fire may have started because the e-cigarette battery came in contact with the keys in the user’s pocket.
What happens if you are injured by an E-Cigarette?
Like any other product, the manufacturer may bear some responsibility if you are injured while using an e-cigarette. There may also be a case against the distributor of the dangerous product. All of this would be subject to investigation and expert opinion.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an e-cigarette, you should seek experienced legal counsel. At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have the resources to investigate prospective product liability claims. Contact us to discuss your accident so that may help you determine a course of action.