CDC Updates the Public on Lung Injuries from Vaping Devices - Elliott & Smith Law Firm

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Jan 07

CDC Updates the Public on Lung Injuries from Vaping Devices

Once touted as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, vaping devices and e-cigarettes have come under fire in the last few months as injuries and fatalities linked to their usage mount.

Most recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a press briefing to update the public and physicians on new research, statistics, and the future of the epidemic.

 Specifically, the CDC panel announced four important points derived from the results of thorough investigations by public health organizations, researchers, FDA scientists, and related experts.

  1. The outbreak of lung disease among vape users is a new phenomenon, not a previously recognized condition that extended over into those who smoke via e-cigs.
  2. Researchers are confident that one particular substance, Vitamin E acetate, is linked to e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).
  3. The outbreak of EVALI has plateaued and, in some respects, improved. The numbers of new lung disease cases has reduced and is on the decline after peaking in September 2019.
  4. The bigger concern with EVALI is the number of patients who are readmitted to the hospital for care after being discharged. Patients experienced considerable deterioration within four days after leaving the hospital, and some even died shortly thereafter. Primarily, the phenomenon affects individuals with chronic cardiac or pulmonary conditions.

J. Timothy Smith, a founding partner at Elliott & Smith Law Firm in Fayetteville, AR, stated that the CDC report was encouraging in some ways. “It’s great that officials are getting to the bottom of the lung diseases related to e-cig use, and that there are fewer instances of medical conditions. However, the damage has been for some victims. The dangers of vaping weren’t fully investigated or disclosed, so far too many people sustained injuries and many families are feeling the pain of losing a loved one.”

Fortunately, victims and their families may have legal options under Arkansas law under the theory of products liability. According to Mr. Smith, “These claims typically proceed through strict liability, where you don’t have to prove that a manufacturer was at fault in causing a dangerous product to be released within the stream of commerce. It’s far easier to prove the essential elements when you don’t need to establish negligence.”

In addition, victims may also be able to recover by proving that a manufacturer breached a warranty, either express or implied. If successful, individuals may be able to obtain monetary damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Contact the Elliott & Smith Law Office today.