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Nicotine is highly addictive no matter what form it comes in — cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco. When you smoke, you may absorb only one to two milligrams of nicotine from each cigarette, but that is enough to be hooked. (1)
Most people who smoke really do want to quit. In fact, every year “nearly 35 million people make a serious attempt to quit.” However, most relapse, often within just one week. (2)
How Nicotine Affects the Body
“Nicotine is a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in tobacco plants.” (3) With each puff of a cigarette, a smoker inhales nicotine as well as other dangerous substances. The nicotine is then absorbed into the blood. “It takes just 8 seconds for nicotine to hit the brain.” (4)
Nicotine in the e-liquids of an e-cigarette is also easily absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream. “Upon entering the blood, nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.” (5)
“Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and causes release of the pleasure chemical dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain within minutes of the first puff.” (6) You can get hooked because of the incredible “rush” you experience. (7)
Multiple sources agree that nicotine is as hard or harder to give up than heroin. (8) (9)
Regular smoking causes your body to adapt to a certain amount of nicotine. Without giving it much thought, you choose how much you wants to smoke based on how your body has adjusted to a certain level of nicotine. Your body’s tolerance to nicotine’s unpleasant effects actually allow you to remain focused on the pleasurable effects. (11)
If you try to go without vaping, the nicotine level in your bloodstream drops. You may experience unpleasant feelings and physical symptoms, along with an irresistible urge to vape again. (12)
Whether you smoke or vape, if you try to quit, you may experience a number of withdrawal symptoms, including: (13)
- A sense of emptiness.
- Moodiness and irritability.
- Difficulty focusing or paying attention.
Trying to quit smoking cold turkey does not work for most people because of the “nature of addiction. Addiction undermines willpower, or the ability to control impulses through decision-making.” (14)
Side Effects of Using E-Cigarettes
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, whether found in cigarettes or e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes employ a battery-powered device that heats up a specialized liquid to form vapors, or aerosol, that the user inhales. Flavorings, nicotine, and other potentially dangerous substances may also be inhaled. (15)
Risks of using e-cigarettes include:
- Nicotine addiction. (16)
- Ischemic stroke. (17)
- Seizure. (18) (19)
- Hemorrhagic stroke — increased risk of total hemorrhagic stroke, and intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage. (20)
- Heart attack. (21)
- Pulmonary impairment — increased chances of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (22)
- E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). (23) (24)
- Acute eosinophilic pneumonia, pneumonitis, and respiratory failure. (25) (26)
- Bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn worker’s lung.” (27)
- Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), the idiopathic form of organizing pneumonia formerly called bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia or BOOP. (28)
- Nicotine poisoning. (29)
Weitz & Luxenberg is continuing to take legal action on behalf of clients who used the e-cigarette, have a nicotine addiction, and were harmed by the toxic substances that are absorbed when you vape.
Nicotine Addiction: Smoking vs. Vaping
People know smoking is addictive because of the nicotine. The same is true for vaping. Vaping is “when you use a handheld tube, or tank, attached to a mouthpiece that makes a vapor you inhale.” (30)
There are different ways to vape, including vape pens, e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, and mods. No matter which one you use, “they all heat liquid chemicals (‘e-juice’) into a mist” that a person breathes, just the way you would “breathe in like a cigarette or pipe.” Nicotine is the most common ingredient in all of these. (31)
Of the different ways to vape, JUUL and similar pod-based e-cigarettes deliver nicotine efficiently. In fact, this delivery system “may foster greater dependence than other types of e-cigarettes.” (32)
Worse yet, the replaceable nicotine cartridges come in tempting flavors like mango and mint, increasing their appeal. In fact, “recent data have shown that e-cigarette use in adolescents has increased substantially since the introduction of pod-based e-cigarettes,” so much so that the U.S. Surgeon General has declared youth vaping an epidemic. (33)
JUUL is being accused of aggressively marketing e-cigarettes to teenagers and causing them to suffer from nicotine addiction.
As far as providing a nicotine rush, “JUUL packs a potent dose of the addictive chemical nicotine. In fact, its nicotine content is one of the highest among e-cigarettes on the market.” (34)
One JUUL pod contains the equivalent of 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine. “The amount of nicotine in one standard JUUL cartridge is roughly equal to the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs.” (35)
How W&L Can Help
If you or a loved one developed a nicotine addiction and suffered from severe side effects due to vaping with JUUL e-cigarettes, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
We recommend you contact a national, reputable law firm experienced in handling large-scale consumer protection litigation. We are one such law firm. Weitz & Luxenberg is a national firm that has been handling complex consumer protection lawsuits for more than 30 years.
Our Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have secured billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of thousands of people harmed by defective, sometimes dangerous consumer products. We can help you consider possible legal action.
Please contact us for a free consultation now. You can use the form or call us at (833) 544-0604. One of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.