Many smokers have turned to vaping as a way to quit the unhealthy habit of smoking cigarettes which has led to many suffering from lung cancer and other medical issues. Unfortunately, vaping isn’t exactly healthy, but may be considered less harmful to someone who can’t quite “kick their smoking habit to the curb” but doesn’t want to continue smoking actual cigarettes. When a person “vapes” or smokes an e-cigarette, the device itself heats the nicotine and other added flavorings “to create a water vapor that you inhale” [Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine].
While “regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic,” e-cigarettes are said to “expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes.” With that said, e-cigarettes still expose you to harmful chemicals such as nicotine which can cause you to “crave a smoke” or suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit. Aside from being an addictive substance, Johns Hopkins Medicine also says that nicotine “raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.”
Now, it is still unknown what exact chemicals are present in the vapor that is inhaled which means there could be long-term effects to vaping, hence the reason why only individuals who are 18 years of age and older are legally permitted to purchase vaping products and consume them. So, if the public is aware there are risks to vaping and an age restriction has been set, why are companies being sued? Well, there are a few different reasons and it starts with the tactics they are using to market their vaping products.
Why are vaping companies becoming a prime target for a lawsuit?
Despite the fact that e-cigarettes are available to anyone who is 18 years of age or older who is looking for a “healthier” alternative to smoking, companies are actually using marketing methods that target kids in middle and high school. In 2015, “the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 percent, and 40 percent of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco.” Since 2015, e-cigarettes have only grown in popularity which means there are more users, many of which who aren’t legally permitted to use a vaping device.
So, what are companies doing that are making vaping appealing to young adults?
According to Johns Hopkins Hospital companies are:
- Creating a facade that vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes. The truth is, those who vape are still at risk of developing certain health conditions which is why the legal age limit to use the product has been set at 18. Unfortunately, many teens might be under the impression that because vaping is less harmful, there is no risk in trying it or even doing it more than once.
- Because e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes, they are more affordable. A majority of teens don’t exactly have extra cash lying around so if they were inclined to try smoking, they will likely go for the more affordable product.
- Vape cartridges are often formulated with certain types of flavorings that are more appealing to younger generations. Companies have been recognized for formulating certain flavors including cotton candy, fruity pebbles, gummy bear, unicorn, apple pie, etc. all of which are more enticing to teens rather than adults.
Because vaping gives off the impression that it’s safe, affordable, and tastes good, many teens are enticed to try it. While some are able to walk into a convenience store or other establishment and purchase the product without I.D., others use a fake I.D. just so they can get their hands on a vape device and try it for themselves. This has put the health of many young adults at risk which is many companies are facing lawsuits.
According to National Public Radio, the North Carolina’s state attorney general’s office has recently “filed lawsuits in state court against eight companies that sell vaping products. [The] office is accusing these companies of “aggressively targeting children and do not require appropriate age verification when selling these dangerous and addictive products.” The complaints allege that [the] companies [named in the lawsuit] are helping to fuel an epidemic of vaping among high school and middle school students.”
What can you do if you feel your teen’s health has been compromised as a result of vaping?
It would be in your best interest to contact Ballard Law, PLLC to speak with Jackson, MS personal injury attorney William E. Ballard. These types of cases fall onto the more complex side of the ladder and should be discussed with a legal expert. If you’d like to schedule a time to come in a discuss your issue with attorney William E. Ballard, we suggest you contact our office today at 769-572-5111.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201