Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Health Officials Say Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness on the Rise

Health Officials Say Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness on the Rise

Medical experts and federal health officials are warning the public of significant potential dangers of vaping and recommending the immediate stopping of e-cigarette use as the number of people with severe vaping-related lung illnesses has risen to 450 possible cases spanning 33 states, with four confirmed deaths.

As reported by The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study of two clusters of 53 cases of the illness in Wisconsin and Illinois. According to Dr. Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for the Illinois Department of Public Health, the patients studied in Illinois and Wisconsin were typically “healthy, young, with a median age of 19 years and a majority have been men… A third were younger than 18. ” The numbers correspond to Juul’s initial marketing strategies, which targeted teens via social media and other specific publicity channels, and whose products offered a wide range of candy-like flavors.

The Times notes that 98 percent of patients in the study had to be hospitalized, that half required admission to the intensive care unit, and a third had so much trouble breathing that they needed to be placed immediately on ventilators. These illnesses are in stark contrast to the experience advertised by Juul and other e-cigarette manufacturers, which was touted as being markedly safer than traditional cigarettes.

Dr. Layden noted that a majority of the patients admitted had used a “nicotine-based product,” noting that there were “a range of products and devices.”

The New England Journal of Medicine’s article also notes that in the 53 cases of the illness in Wisconsin and Illinois, heating coils in vaping devices were involved that could have possibly released dangerous metal particles that patients then inhaled.

As noted by the Times, public health officials continue to stress one fundamental point: that the rise in illnesses is a new phenomenon and not just recognition of a syndrome that may have been developing for years.

Contact a Juul Injury Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser is in the vanguard of injury litigation seeking to hold Juul accountable for the serious adverse health consequences of e-cigarette use by teens. If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury you believe may relate to a Juul e-cigarette, contact us today for a free no-obligation review of your case. We will provide answers to your legal questions, and outline your legal rights, including potential claims against Juul and/or other manufacturers.

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