Vaping Illnesses and Product Liability

Vaping is back in the news yet again—and as usual, not in a good way! While vape pens were initially touted as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, they’ve caused plenty of trouble in recent years, including house fires and explosions. Now, a recent spate of hospitalizations and deaths is once again raising the alarm.

What is Vaping?

Vape pens are electronic devices that contain a mix of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals. When someone inhales on the small, pen-shaped device, the liquid inside turns into a vapor. Vape pens generally have a lower dose of nicotine than traditional cigarettes. This makes them an enticing alternative for people who want to cut down on cigarettes.

In recent years, vaping has become a common habit among teenagers. This is likely thanks to the fun flavoring, and the fact that vape pens are small and discreet. In fact, a study from earlier this year found that 37% of 12th graders admitted to vaping.

New Illnesses Raise Concerns

While concerns about fires and addiction have been around for years, lung diseases have recently become another concern. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 380 probable cases of vape-related lung illness across 36 states. In most cases, patients reported symptoms like coughing, breathing problems, and weight loss. Most had vaped within 90 days, with many people vaping right up until the point where the symptoms began to appear. This has led to various hospitalizations, along with at least six deaths.

As of now, no particular brand links to the illnesses. Organizations like the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the incidents. Solutions, including a ban of vape products, are also being discussed. Vape users should stop using the product, if possible, and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Vaping and Product Liability

In this case, it’s unclear what the issue is, and whether it is the result of a danger or defect. But if it can be shown that negligence or error led to the illnesses, it may be a product liability case.

When someone is injured or even killed by a product, determining liability is difficult. Like with any other product liability case, liability often depends on how the product was being used. In the case of injuries resulting from a vape pen explosion, if someone ignored safety warnings and used the vape pen in an improper way, the manufacturer might not be liable, since it was the user’s action that caused the injury. Similarly, if a child became ill after drinking e-liquid that has been left on the kitchen counter, their guardian’s improper storage, not the manufacturer, would likely take the blame.

If you use a vape pen or know someone who does, these recent hospitalizations are something to be aware of. And for everyone else, it’s important to stay on top of information about other dangerous or defective products—you never know when even the most ubiquitous object could become a hazard!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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