Weitz & Luxenberg is taking cases of pulmonary illness and respiratory failure among both children and adults following a joint statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noting that as of September 6, 2019, “over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to CDC from the following 33 states and 1 U.S. territory.” (1) The FDA further noted that these numbers may change frequently. Five possible e-cigarette deaths have been confirmed to date.

“The tobacco industry has made unfounded claims that e-cigarettes are a ‘safer’ alternative to combustible tobacco products,” said Ellen Relkin, Weitz & Luxenberg’s practice group co-chair for defective drugs and medical devices. “What is clear is that these electronic cigarettes have their own unique health and safety dangers, in addition to those accompanying any tobacco use, which is particularly troubling given manufacturers’ aggressive marketing, especially to teenagers and young adults, and the subsequent increase to epidemic proportions in use among these populations.”  

Risks from E-Cigarettes

There have been numerous public health announcements regarding pulmonary disease, respiratory failure, and even death resulting from the use of e-cigarettes in recent months.

Pulmonary disease has become one of the most reported side effects of e-cigarette use and has been examined in-depth by several groups of researchers, including a recent case series published in The New England Journal of Medicine. This series of patients with pulmonary illnesses investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health found that the median age of e-cigarette users was 19.This study and one published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that examined patients who had been admitted with pulmonary illness after e-cigarette use in North Carolina found abnormal “ground glass” opacities in the lungs.

There is additional medical literature that indicates that e-cigarettes can also lead to pulmonary toxicity in the form of bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) or cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), a type of lung condition characterized by inflammation and stiffening of areas of the lungs.

The New York Times has extensively covered the potentially fatal consequences resulting from e-cigarette use and notes vaping has reached “epidemic levels” in America. Another Times story on e-cigarettes noted that the surge in illnesses began to be noticed by health departments earlier this year.

The FDA also sent a warning letter to e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL for violating federal regulations by selling its products with marketing touting it as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes and ordered JUUL to correct these violations, including all related labeling and advertising.  

W&L Can Help E-Cigarette Users Who Have Suffered Pulmonary Illness, Respiratory Failure, Seizures, or Hemorrhagic Strokes

Weitz & Luxenberg encourages anyone who has experienced pulmonary illness, respiratory failure, seizures, or hemorrhagic stroke after using e-cigarettes to contact the firm using the online form on this page or by calling (855) 274-5624 for a free consultation.

W&L’s Drug and Medical Device Litigation practice group has won more than $12 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients in drug and medical device litigations, and our experienced attorneys can help explain and explore all of your legal options.*

For more information on the risks and dangers of e-cigarette use some of these sites may be useful:

*Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The settlements in which Weitz & Luxenberg played leadership roles included patients not represented by W&L.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, September 6). Smoking & Tobacco Use. Outbreak of Lung Illness Associated with Using E-cigarette Products. Investigation Notice. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

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