Cigarettes, once a staple in American society and culture, reached a record low 14% usage rating among adults in 2017, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For comparison, at the height of U.S. adult usage, the CDC reported 42.4% of adults smoked. Many factors play into this decline, but perhaps the most relevant is the emergence of e-cigarettes or “vapes”.
Vapes, or vaporizers, act as an alternative nicotine option to cigarettes and chewing tobacco. They work as follows: 1.) A sensor in the device acknowledges an inhalation 2.) The sensor triggers a vaporizing device that heats up the nicotine-containing flavored liquid to such an extreme temperature, it turns into vaporized smoke 3.) The smoker extracts and inhales the vaporized smoke through a mouth piece.
There has been an immense amount of controversy surrounding the flavored liquids; those who oppose them argue that companies like San Francisco-based Juul, and their flavors, target minors and young people. Juul, who named its vaporizing device “juul” as well, made headlines recently when it pulled its tasty flavors, limiting its production to just “Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco, Mint, and Menthol”.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, since the middle of October, 1500 lung injuries and 33 deaths have been linked to vaping. Statistics like these have landed popular e-cigarette companies, such as Juul, in hot water, legally. You may have seen or read stories regarding lawsuits pertaining to vape-related injuries and deaths in the Midwest United States, but now a Bethlehem man is joining them.
20-year-old Connor Evans was admitted to St. Luke’s hospital in May, where he was treated for complications regarding vape-related ailments. Just one year of “juuling” (the act of vaping with a Juul) is all it took for Connor’s lungs to fill with blood, restricting his ability to breath, and landing him on life support. Doctors tested Connor for other health issues, and ultimately determined vaping caused his condition. Connor was unable to breath without a machine during his time on life support, and was forced to miss three months of work. Additionally, Connor still deals with lung issues to this day, and has decided to sue Juul for their false advertisements, claiming their product was a safe alternative to cigarettes.
Connor and those in similar positions were under the false pretenses that vaporizers were healthier than cigarettes and a safe alternative. As more stories like Connor’s emerge, those pretenses become more and more unrealistic. If you or a loved one smoke e-cigarettes or cigarettes, make sure to take all necessary steps to educate yourself on the effects and possible symptoms of their use.
For afflicted Juul users, make sure you exhaust all avenues of possible legal action. Don’t allow Juul, or any other e-cigarette company, to fool you.