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Toxic Vapes From E-Cigarettes Pose Health Hazards

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Santa Clara, CA Research shows that serious health risks are associated with electronic cigarettes, including cancer. Health officials for more than a decade have warned consumers of e-cigarette side effects from toxic vapes that contain 
additives in the liquid nicotine, which converts to high amounts of aldehydes and toxic chemicals.


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E-Cigarette or Vaping

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are battery powered devices designed to imitate traditional cigarettes.  Smoking an e-cigarette --known as vaping—works by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs. Users get a buzz from the nicotine mixture in the “e-liquid,” “e-juice,” or “vape juice.”

“We simply don’t know what will happen 20 or 30 years down the road in people who are vaping because these devices and products haven’t been around that long,” said Dr. Brandon Larsen, a lung-health expert and pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Time Magazine reported (November 11, 2019).

E-Cigarettes Linked to Cancer

Research published back in July 2016 in Environmental Science & Technology  found the vapor from electronic cigarettes contains two previously unidentified chemicals that can cause cancer, and it also shows that levels of harmful chemicals vary between e-cigs. The vaporizers released 31 harmful chemicals, including two possibly cancer-causing compounds that had never been previously found in e-cig vapor.

A study published in October 2019 by the NYU School of Medicine found that mice exposed to e-cigarette smoke were five times more likely to develop lung cancer, and 10 times more likely to develop precancerous lesions of the bladder. The study mice also did not inhale smoke like a human would, but, instead, were surrounded by it. It’s foreseeable that if you smoke e-cigarettes, all kinds of disease comes out” over time, Moon-Shong Tang, the study’s lead researcher, told Reuters. “Long term, some cancer will come out, probably. E-cigarettes are bad news.

Anthony Alberg, a professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the South Carolina University of Public Health, said this research is important to document the potential for harm in humans. “Eventually we need human data to characterize specifically the human effects. But these studies are particularly important now when we don’t have that kind of human evidence,” Alberg told The Cancer Letter.

While some health experts and organizations – such as the American Cancer Society— believe more research is needed and solid conclusions about cancer risk in people cannot be made from only one animal study, some say otherwise.

It took decades to prove that tobacco smoke in cigarettes causes cancer in humans, culminating in the landmark 1964 Surgeon General’s report that linked smoking with lung cancer and heart disease. But Alan Blum, director of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, said researchers and policymakers don’t need to wait that long to act on e-cigarettes. I don’t think an infinite number of studies are ever going to show that vaping is worse than cigarette smoking, but what we’re finding seems to surprise a lot of people that it’s worse than just inhaling water vapor or glycerin vapor and some flavorings and some nicotine.”

E-Cigarettes and Heart Disease

At the American Heart Association scientific conference on November 11, 2019, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said that e-cigarettes may be more harmful to a smoker’s heart than traditional tobacco cigarettes. (Smoking-related heart disease actually kills more Americans each year than lung cancer.) Based on statistics from the Office of the Surgeon General--that smoking causes approximately one in four cardiovascular disease deaths, or 210,000 deaths each year in the U.S., the health implications of e-cigarettes are enormous.


At least 113 chemicals have been identified in e-cigarette liquids and aerosols, including potentially harmful substances.  Various chemical substances known to be toxic, carcinogenic, and/or to cause respiratory and cardiac disease have been identified in e-cigarette aerosols, cartridges, refill liquids, and environmental emissions.

An increasing number of studies have detected metals in e-liquid and aerosol samples generated by e-cigarettes, including chromium, nickel, lead, manganese, aluminum, tin, and iron. And the number of metals is larger than for traditional tobacco cigarettes. Some of these metals can be inhaled and are known to be highly toxic for multiple organs and systems through inhalation.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health published a study in Environmental Health Perspectives showing that e-cigs generated aerosols with potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel. Chronic inhalation of these metals has been linked to cancers and lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage.

On the heels of the above study, another study published in December 2018 also reported that some vape devices contain potentially toxic levels of metals, including lead. The study’s author said that a “significant number of the devices emitted vapors with potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel.”

And researchers at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada reported that high levels of formaldehyde, among other such toxic chemicals, were found in vape liquids and the levels of toxic chemicals are much higher than established “safe” limits of the chemicals. 

The FDA, CDC and E-cigarette Lung Disease

The FDA calls vape usage among teens an “epidemic”. The CDC reports that vaping rose by nearly 80 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018, wiping out previous progress in reducing tobacco use among teenagers.

The FDA warned in 2009 that some e-cigarettes contain diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. More recently (October 2019), the agency warned the public to stop using vaping products obtained off the street amid its ongoing investigation into lung illnesses.  As of October 1, the CDC reported 1,080 lung injury cases, including 18 deaths, associated with using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. 

Neither the specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with vaping is known at this time, nor has a single product or substance been linked to all lung injury cases.  Both the FDA and the CDC recommend that you “consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC.”  While the CDC emphasizes the risk of THC, “the psychoactive mind-altering compound of marijuana”, it doesn’t mention in this warning toxic chemicals and metals that e-cigs are also known to contain. 

Teens and E-Cigs

Researchers in a study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research (Oct 2018) said that teens who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes and to eventually increase their use of both products. The researchers also found that increased use of both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes over time is not linked with other factors such as alcohol or marijuana use.  Pediatrics in March 2019 published a study showing that only about one-quarter of parents who smoke e-cigarettes or tobacco have rules against vaping in the house, even though 73 percent of parents who smoked cigarettes did have rules prohibiting tobacco use in the house.

Parents of teens and individuals are filing e-cigarette lawsuits against Juul and other e-cigarette companies alleging that the vaping device contained a manufacturing defect that caused injury to the user or others; and/or the e-liquid flavor “pods” used with the device contain highly addictive chemicals, such as nicotine. The lawsuits argue that injury could have been avoided if adequate warnings about e-cigarette side effects had been provided.

Besides Juul (more below), which owns about75 percent of the e-cigarette market share, two other companies have also been named in the vape lawsuits. Juul is expecting $3.4 billion in revenue in 2019, and earned $12.4 million in profits in 2018, according to Bloomberg. If previous tobacco lawsuits are an indicator, Juul will need deep pockets.

Juul E-cigarette Lawsuits

Juul is a massive e-cigarette or vape company that has successfully marketed its flavored vapes to teens. Adding to its appeal, the device resembles a USB drive and the battery recharges when plugged into a computer. And it has high nicotine content: One Juul cartridge has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

Juul is increasingly facing lawsuits and investigations over its health claims and marketing tactics aimed at teens. Tobacco Control published a study indicating that the younger the teen, the more likely they will use Juul—and on a regular basis. And this has spurred a Juul class action alleging illegal marketing to teens. Many Juul lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation, and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission into Juul’s marketing practices remain ongoing.

The former Juul senior vice president of global finance has also slammed a lawsuit against the company.  Law360 reported October 30, 2019 that Siddharth Breja claims Juul shipped at least 1 million tainted nicotine pods but failed to recall them despite his “insistence and protests,” and then fired him to “set an example for other employees.”

In the lawsuit, Breja implies a connection between the lack of safety standards allegedly at Juul and the recent increase of vaping-related illnesses and deaths that’s causing panic nationwide. (However, the vast majority of those incidents—so far-- have reportedly been linked to cartridges filled with tainted marijuana extract.)

Further, Breja said that, although his bosses told him not to worry about the tainted pods, they ordered him to bill the supplier of the nicotine liquid for $7 million because of the contamination. The case is Siddharth Breja v. Juul Labs Inc. et al., case number 3:19-cv-07148, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Parents from Sarasota filed a lawsuit against Juul, claiming that the vape company purposely targets teens, reported the Their 15-year-old daughter soon became addicted to vaping and she was recently pulled from school due to seizures. Her mother said that, once her daughter started vaping, all she cared about was “where she was going to get her next Juul from, where she was going to get her next hit from."


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Posted by

Ive been using e cigarettes since 2016 and i stopped cause it was messing with my breathing and causing chest pains.

Posted by

When I started smoking,health warnings were not a big thing then. I became addicted and to add to it,I have azma. Both parents were smokers. I had to get really sick with respatory illness before I quit. My advice to all of you who this stuff is not hurting you or others. Excuses and denial are emotional devices that are dangerous. ANYTHING YOU PUT IN YOUR LUNGS IS CAUSING LUNG DAMAGE. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BREATH,SOONER OR LATER! STOP DOING IT AND FIX YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU CANT.

Posted by

Vaping for ~ 8 years. Coughing gone. No SOB, dyspnea, just strange feeling when breathing. BP increased. Concerned about what this product may be doing to my health now and in future.

Posted by

I've been vaping for 2 years and have a chronic cough breathing has gotten terrible have to hold on to the rail while going up the steps to my condo on the third floor with no elevatorI knew there was something wrong with this vaping now I think I may have a problem with my health normal activities is hard for me anymore because I cannot breathe properly I should have just a bit cigarettes and on top of that I was in my car and the battery of the Vape blows up damn near got in an accident I won't forget this please contact me on my email and see what we can do to help other people that may have problems with these companies to come out with this formaldehyde and know that this is not healthy i t's all about big money for big cigarette companiesI stopped everything now I have to try to get on get on with my life with what ever healthI have left

Posted by

I’ve been Vaping for 11 years. I’m an ex smoker. I smoked 1 pack a day of clove cigarettes. My breathing, sense of smell and health is great! No coughing etc. I take very good care of my equipment including batteries and all of my mods. I vape only premium liquid. I vape 3mg Vape juice. I don’t buy anything on the street, I don’t use thc cartridges or any cartridges. I don’t buy anything vape related from a convenience store or gas station, I buy only from reputable shops and companies where all vape juice sold is FDA approved and regulated. People, do your research and due diligence!

Posted by

I’ve been vaping for about 6 years, after many years of smoking. My breathing almost immediately got better. My last chest x-ray, about 2 years ago was so clear the doc sent it back thinking he had the wrong x-ray. So while they may not be risk free, they are a much “lesser evil” and I hope the industry doesn’t get forced out of business due to large class action suits.

Posted by

I've been vaping for a few years, maybe 3. Anyway, a pulmonologist told me to "keep that e cigarette hanging off your neck all the time, if you want a cigarette, smoke one, you will smoke less". Now a cardiac doc tells me the nicotine in them is bad for the heart valves. Oh, and just what is written in the article, the toxic chemicals. Guess it's just time to kick the butts and the vapes. Big tobacco wins either way. That is where the nicotine in the e cigarettes comes from. Google it. Easy to find.

Posted by

I have been vaping for over 2 years! I have the worst cough and chest pains.. I have vaped around my nephew also ????

Posted by

I have used e cigarettes for the last 5 years. Thinking this was healthier then smoking. I've purchased a lot of over the counter vapor cigs and vapors from gas stations and tobacco stores. My lungs and breathing haven't gotten any better but in fact I feel worse. My lungs feel inflamed, heavy and I cough now throughout the entire day.

Posted by

I n vaporizing for 2 years now, and have an awful cough and it's constant.

Posted by

Ever since I tried the vapor cigarettes the Ebates I have had a constant cough and it's very persistent

Posted by

I've used many vaping devices, what should I do?
Ive vaped around my baby due to purported safeness.
I've been vaping while breastfeeding for 9 months since my daughter was born.


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