A study by the American Cancer Society concluded with some interesting findings regarding patients diagnosed with lung cancer and e-cigarette usage. Researchers noted that e-cigarette usage is on the rise, and cancer patients who used e-cigarettes were more dependent on nicotine and less likely to quit smoking completely than those who smoked regular cigarettes. Lung cancer lawyers at Pintas & Mullins detail this study further and explain legal options for cancer patients.
E-cigarettes are frequently touted for curbing the adverse effects of smoking and for being less addictive. The reality behind these statements is highly debated, and studies are just starting to be conducted on these products. This most recent project analyzed more than 1,000 cancer patients who were enrolled in a tobacco treatment program.
Nearly 40% of patients in the study used primarily e-cigarettes, and researchers noted that these patients had more previous quitting attempts and were more likely to be diagnosed with lung, neck or head cancers than patients smoking regular cigarettes. Like in the general population, e-cigarette usage among cancer patients is increasing considerably.
With fruity flavors and suspicious marketing practices, e-cigarettes manufacturers are forcefully targeting minors, and it seems to be working. In 2013 the CDC stated that the number of high school students who have tried e-cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 alone. In response to their gaining popularity, the FDA recently proposed a set of guidelines for e-cigarettes. Among its recommendations, the FDA will not allow minors to buy e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products to minors.
It's not only high school students at risk. Poison centers throughout the U.S. are noticing an uptick in nicotine poisoning emergencies in small children - there were 215 such reports in February of this year. Some of the most severe health consequences associated with e-cigarettes includes:
• Congestive heart failure
• High blood pressure
Although there have not yet been any lawsuits filed by patients injured by e-cigarettes, several states have brought action against manufacturers for selling to minors or practicing unethical advertising. For example, Oregon recently filed lawsuits against two e-cigarette manufacturers, causing the two companies to completely stop selling their products in that state.
A similar lawsuit in California accused Sottera, an e-cigarette manufacturer, of illegally marketing to minors, touting them as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes, and advertising the products as aids to help stop smoking. In that settlement, Sottera agreed to stop these marketing practices and to discontinue sales of flavored cartridges.
That being said, the adverse health effects listed above are quite serious, and may be grounds for an injury lawsuits. If a child accidentally ingests nicotine solutions used in e-cigarettes, an injury lawsuit may be filed as well. The active ingredients in these nicotine solutions is much the same as those found in cigarettes and nicotine patches, and a teaspoon is enough to kill a small child.
Despite this and the FDA's efforts, e-cigarettes remain unregulated and are not required to have child-proof parts. Several national and international health organizations are attempting to tackle this new trend, and the FDA is expected to bring e-cigarettes under its authority soon. These products have not been fully studies, so the long-term risks and benefits are completely unknown.