Vaporizers and e-cigarettes containing both nicotine and cannabis oil first appeared on the market approximately ten years ago. It has not been until the last three or four years though, that vaping has become extremely popular, particularly among teens. These vaporizers do not actually turn nicotine and cannabis into vapor. Instead, they turn it into an aerosol, which the user then inhales into their lungs. When these products first came out, there was very little known about them and the possible risks they posed. In recent years, the dangers have become much clearer.
As of late August 2019, there were a total of 215 injury and death cases reported in 25 states. Most of these cases involved lung injuries, such as severe inflammation. This is a condition known as pneumonitis. In more severe cases, individuals were suffering from bleeding in the lungs. In Oregon, a man died in July and his death was believed to be linked to vaping. It was the second death in the country thought to be caused by vaping, and the first to be caused by a product purchased from a store.
“Manufacturers just pushed these products onto the market without any warning of the risks they carried,” says Lawrence Disparti, a Chicago personal injury attorney of Disparti Law Group. “The government, on the other hand, did absolutely nothing to protect the public. Both of these inactions are deplorable, and someone should be held liable.”
The question now is, who is liable for the injuries and deaths this new trend is causing? Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe, and warning consumers of any risks associated with using their product. However, government agencies are also responsible for regulating dangerous products, such as tobacco and nicotine, to ensure public safety.
Manufacturers did not warn the public of the risks associated with their product. The FDA, on the other hand, also failed to hold manufacturers responsible. The government agency first mandated that e-cigarette manufacturers provide them with information so they could determine if the products were safe enough for the market. The first deadline given for this information was 2018, but the FDA moved that back to 2022.
The inaction has caused medical experts to state that the FDA failed to avoid the public health crisis that has now been caused by vaping. As it stands, the year 2022 is still a long way away. How many more deaths and injuries will have been caused by vaping before then?