As we move forward into 2020, last year’s outbreak of vaping injuries and deaths seem to have diminished with time. E-cigarettes sent the nation into panic overdrive when hundreds of patients, mostly minors, were reportedly seeking emergency care for lung injuries related to vaping. This epidemic saw its peak in September 2019; and, like many other sensationalized new stories, the public has heard less and less about the problem since the beginning of the year. Despite inconsistent reporting, vaping injuries and deaths continue to occur.
Vaping Injury and Death Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that following this lung injury outbreak, it will now only report hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths. Furthermore, the CDC removed non-hospitalized cases from its previously reported figures.
As of January 21, 2020, the CDC reported a total of 2,711 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths across all 50 states, the District of Columbia (D.C.), as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. At least 60 deaths have been reported to the CDC, a figure that stretched across 27 states and D.C. While the CDC has reported a decline in emergency hospital visits, cases of injuries and deaths continue; raising suspicions about the integrity of reported cases that remain unclear concerning the potential dangers and causes of EVALI cases.
Understanding the Statistics
The term EVALI, coined by the CDC, represents e-cigarette or vaping (such as JUULs) product use associated with lung injury. Cases involving EVALI peaked late last year and then gradually declined, signaling a sigh of relief that the epidemic was short-lived. However, the death toll has increased to 60 since the New Year, including the most recent six deaths since late December 2019. This represents a substantial increase from the 34 deaths reported just two months earlier.
While many heeded CDC and FDA warnings, a large number of vaping consumers remain at risk for EVALI. A decrease in reported cases due to changes in the criteria the CDC uses to evaluate EVALI emergencies may have led consumers to believe they are safe. Regardless of a decrease in widespread media attention, it is still important for consumers to be aware of the symptoms and dangers associated with vaping products.
Vaping and e-cigarette products work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that consumers then inhale into their lungs. Following the outbreak of injuries and deaths, many ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) were found to contain Vitamin E in the product’s liquid. Vitamin E is used as an additive, typically in vaping products containing THC. While Vitamin E can be found in numerous food sources, skincare products, and health supplements, it does not pose a threat to consumers; however, when heated and inhaled in vaping devices like JUUL, interference with normally functioning lung capacity is possible. Symptoms of EVALI include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Fevers and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Tachypnea (rapid, shallow breathing)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are a consumer of vaping or e-cigarette products, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Houston Vape Injury Attorneys
Consumers have the right to be informed of a defective product and its present dangers as it remains on the market. Dax F. Garza, P.C. is currently accepting e-cigarette induced injury and wrongful death cases in all 50 states. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed, you should our lawyers immediately for a free consultation.