E-Cigarettes are ‘liquid poison’ in a child’s hands

by Jay Pate

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated products that deliver nicotine to the user along with flavor and other chemicals. E-cigarettes turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user.

Liquid nicotine is sold to refill e-cigarettes. The nicotine is typically contained in a cartridge that users insert into the e-cigarette. Because of high concentrations of nicotine in the liquid, medical experts says that even a small amount of the liquid can cause vomiting and that larger amounts can lead to seizures and even death. A mere teaspoon of even highly-diluted “e-liquid” can kill a small child, according to a report by the New York Times.

The CDC has released a report indicating a “dramatic” rise in e-cigarette-related calls to U.S. poison centers. According to the CDC, poison control call centers around the country are experiencing an increase in the number of calls concerning children exposed to liquid nicotine from electronic cigarettes. The average number of such calls has climbed from only one call a month in September 2010 to 215 calls a month in February 2014. More than half of the calls involved children age five and under, while 42% involved people ages 20 and older. The nicotine in e-cigarette comes in a liquid form, which when ingested can lead to vomiting, nausea, and eye irritation.

E-cigarettes targeting children?

E-cigarettes are under fire for targeting children. Many brands come in kid-friendly bright colors and in candy and fruit flavors. E-cigarettes are available in flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear, spearmint, banana and bubble gum.

Many e-cigarettes are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. However, some e-cigarettes resemble everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks.

E-cigarettes are supposedly “better” for smokers because they don’t contain tar and tobacco. However, they do contain nicotine. Although e-cigarettes were initially introduced as a way to help smokers quit, a study recently published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported that smoking e-cigarettes is not helping smokers give up conventional cigarettes. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes are seven times more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes. Critics argue that electronic cigarettes are likely to be a gateway to regular cigarettes for many young people.

Dangerous e-cigarettes are not childproof

The e-cigarettes pose a particular threat to small children because they are not currently required to be “childproof.” Because liquid nicotine is not only so dangerous but is also being marketed in kid-friendly flavors and often smells good, makers of liquid nicotine should sell only containers with childproof caps. Until the makers make their product safer, keep nicotine liquid out of the reach of children. Electronic cigarette liquid should be treated the same as any other toxic materials in your home. Unfortunately, poisonings will surely continue until something is done to change the way e-cigarettes are sold.

According to the FDA’s website, “E-cigarettes have not been fully studied so consumers currently don’t know … the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or if there are any benefits associated with using these products.” The FDA also acknowledges that “is not known if e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.”

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and Product Liability Claims

If your child has suffered a serious personal injury or death because of a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, you need an experienced, educated attorney who has the financial resources to take the case to trial. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the trial experience, knowledge, and legal expertise to pursue a product liability or personal injury claim against any company whose defective products cause serious injury or death.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are proud of the work we have done on behalf children who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others, including: a $36 million jury verdict for a child who suffered brain damage and other serious injuries in a bus crash, a $6.7 million verdict against a hospital for medical errors which caused permanent brain damage to an 8-year-old child, and a $2.2 million jury verdict in a lawsuit involving improper discharge of a newborn from the hospital with low glucose levels resulting in moderate brain damage.

If your child has suffered a serious personal injury or death, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. If you prefer, you can follow the link to our free contact form and one of our staff members will be in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.