Nearly two dozen cases of lung illnesses have been confirmed in Virginia as growing alarm around the use of e-cigarettes, an activity known as “vaping,” gains national attention.
As of this writing, there have been 1,479 lung illnesses and 33 deaths in the United States, all related to vaping, or inhaling vapor from a heated e-liquid, which contains either nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Along with the FDA and state health departments, the CDC is investigating these illnesses, which often exhibit symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fatigue, and possibly fever.
While the investigation into the cluster of mysterious lung illnesses has found similarities, no common substance or product has been identified as the cause. Still, the majority of illnesses arise from those vaping THC.
According to the CDC:
- About 78 percent reported using THC-containing products; 37 percent reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
- About 58 percent reported using nicotine-containing products; 17 percent reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
Health officials are encouraging people to stop using the devices until an investigation can properly determine the cause of the illnesses. Officials also urge consumers not to vape any e-liquid that is not intended for the device.
When should I speak to an attorney?
Four school districts in Arizona have joined a class-action lawsuit against Juul and other e-cigarette makers, citing its harmful effects. The Arizona School Boards Association came out in support of the litigation, which aims at providing support to school districts in order to combat vaping on school grounds.
While investigators are searching for a common link, those with potential claims should not be dissuaded from pursuing justice. If you think you’ve been injured because of vaping, it’s important to take steps that could help your claim, should a cause for these illnesses be identified in the future. Be sure to preserve evidence, like:
- The device used for vaping;
- Proof of your purchase;
- The oils you were vaping; and
- Proof of what you smoked and the frequency with which you smoked it.
As always, if you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, the experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen can explain your options during a free consultation.