Vaping has been touted as a safer alternative than smoking traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes and vaping products have been scrutinized over the last couple of years due to the health complications experienced by users. Juul, the largest producer of vaping products, was placed under investigation after several injuries, deaths and other complaints regarding their products.
The most severe health condition linked to vaping is dubbed "e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury" (EVALI) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of February 18, 2020 (the latest figures), there have been 2,807 hospitalizations and 68 deaths across the United States that were linked to EVALI.
The ingredient most commonly linked to EVALI is vitamin E acetate, which is a thickening agent found in some THC vaping liquids.
Minnesota sees uptick in new EVALI cases
According to the CDC, EVALI cases spiked in September 2019 but then started to decline. New cases are beginning to reemerge in some parts of the U.S., the Associated Press reports.
On July 24, 2020, health officials in Minnesota confirmed 11 new EVALI cases within the last two months. The median age for all 11 cases was 18 years old. Each case required hospitalization and some required the use of ventilators. The 11 patients also tested negative for COVID-19 and showed a history of using vaping products. Minnesota previously had 149 EVALI cases with three deaths before cases began tapering off.
The state's health department urged medical professionals to look out for new EVALI cases. Since EVALI can share overlapping symptoms to COVID-19, this could present potential challenges in accurately identifying new cases.
In addition, a new study conducted by Stanford University found that teenagers and young adults who use vaping products are 5-7 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who don't.
The symptoms for EVALI include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Fever and chills
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Respiratory failure
- Heart attacks and strokes
The states with the highest number of EVALI cases include Texas, California, Illinois and New York. As of February 18, 2020, there have been between 100-149 cases across Massachusetts.
What are my legal options if I become ill?
If you sustained an injury or illness or lost a loved one due to e-cigarettes and vaping products, it's critical that you speak to an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle cases involving e-cigarette injuries.
You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, permanent disability or disease, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and wrongful death benefits.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone have built a solid reputation for helping people across Massachusetts who were hurt by negligence maximize their compensation. We have experience negotiating fair settlements with insurance companies and advocating for injury victims and their families in the courtroom.
To schedule your free case evaluation, simply fill out our online contact form.