Sending Smoke Signals: Electronic Cigarettes, The Next Mass Tort

 Wednesday, November 27, 2019

 CLM Magazine

Whether you know them as e-cigarettes, vape pens, or “Juuls,” electronic cigarettes have grabbed the nation’s attention. As research about the short- and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes develop, alleged predatory advertising to youths captured the government’s attention amidst a recent “vaping-related” illness that is dominating the news.

Predictably, this is all leading to a launch of lawsuits, and the next mass tort is on the horizon.

E-cigarettes, developed for commercial use in China in 2003 and first sold in the United States in 2007, deliver nicotine (and often flavoring) to their users in vapor instead of smoke.

Composed of an internal cartridge called a cartomizer (which holds a liquid solution containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals) and a vaporizer (which heats the solution), e-cigarettes are activated when its user puffs or inhales the device, at which point the liquid is vaporized. The user then breathes in this vapor, hence the term “vaping.”

E-cigarettes are commonly used to inhale nicotine, but are also used to deliver tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and butane hash oils.