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Despite health hype, vaping can easily lead to lung damage

Wallace & Graham, P.A.

People have long talked about vaporization systems as harm-reduction alternatives for those who routinely consume either nicotine products or marijuana products. Unfortunately, as the recent outbreak of vaping-related illnesses has shown, there simply isn’t enough regulation in place or research available to ensure that vaping is safe for consumers yet.

It is obvious to most people how smoking is dangerous. You inhale the smoke produced through the crude combustion of chemically-treated plant materials. Compared to that, vaping seems scientific and safe. You, in theory, only consume the active ingredient you want and a carrier agent or solvent. Instead of inhaling smoke, you inhale a vapor, which sounds less threatening, but the science doesn’t seem to back up that belief.

Simply avoiding black market or contaminated cartridges won’t keep you safe either. While some people can develop serious sicknesses due to the presence of contaminants in vaping cartridges, the very process of inhaling vaporized chemicals could itself pose serious health risks. An analysis of those who have vaped but never smoked shows that even those who managed to avoid contaminated cartridges could still wind up doing unexpected harm to their respiratory systems.

Vaping increases the risk of asthma and other chronic lung conditions

A study recently published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at information collected about 705,000 people. When the researchers eliminated the smokers from the pool and looked only at those who self-reported the use of vaporization devices such as e-cigarettes, they found that those vape users had a 75% higher chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when compared with those who had never smoked or vaporized.

A separate study looking at roughly 400,000 people who were not tobacco smokers found that those currently using e-cigarettes were 39% more likely to develop asthma than those who had never touched any cigarettes or vaping devices. The frequency with which individuals use the vaporizer also impacted their risk. Researchers found that the more someone self-reported vaping, the higher their risk of developing asthma.

Who’s responsible for unsafe vaping products?

When the consumer goes into a business and purchases something sold to them as a less-harm alternative to other delivery methods for nicotine, they assume that it will be safe to use. When that turns out to be untrue, you may not feel like you have many rights or options.

If you or someone you love develops a severe and lifelong long condition that will require treatment and care, you may wonder who is financially responsible for those costs. Depending on the circumstances, the product and the marketing, those injured by unsafe vaporization devices or contaminated cartridges may have the option to take civil action against the manufacturers or the retailers who produced or sold the products.


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