Over the past decade, vapes and electronic cigarettes have rapidly gained popularity throughout the United States. Often marketed as safe alternatives to smoking, vaping carries a significant number of risks.
Since it is a relatively new market, vaping products can go unregulated – leaving consumers at risk. Bootleg vaping products full of dangerous chemicals and unwanted ingredients, for example, are causing significant damage to peoples’ health and finances.
What Are Bootleg Vaping Products?
Vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes, is an activity where a user inhales a liquid that a device turns into an aerosol. This liquid is often flavored and many companies market vaping as a safer, more attractive alternative to smoking cigarettes. However, this is not the case – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a statement linking vaping to hundreds of cases of lung injury throughout the United States.
The CDC has yet to determine the exact cause of the outbreak, but the agency recommends that users of these products purchase them from a reputable manufacturer. Bootleg vaping products may contain dangerous chemicals that can lead to worsening lung disease. Since vaping is a relatively new market, it can be difficult to determine whether a vaping liquid or device is safe to use.
What Are the Symptoms of Vape-Related Lung Injury?
While the outbreak of lung injury among e-cigarette users is a relatively recent phenomenon, the CDC has noted similar symptoms among different cases. Patients typically report a gradual onset of symptoms, eventually worsening to the point of hospitalizations. If you believe you are at risk for vape-related lung injury and notice any of the following indicators, visit a hospital as soon as possible.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Fever and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Bootleg Vape Manufacturer?
If you suffered significant harm from a manufacturer who sold you a bootleg vaping product, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the company. You will need to work closely with a Irvine product liability attorney to prove the following elements.
- First, you will need to prove that you suffered injuries or losses as a result of the defective product. These can be medical expenses for your lung injury treatments, lost wages during your recovery time, or non-economic damages, such as chronic pain and a loss of quality of life.
- Then, you will need to prove that the product is defective in some way and that you did not suffer injuries as a result of misuse. To prove a case of a defective vaping product, your attorney can have experts test the liquid and examine the device to see if it contains any manufacturing defects or dangerous chemicals. He or she will then determine if the defect led to your injury.
You will need to provide significant evidence to support each claim you make in the courtroom. Your attorney can help investigate your case, find the evidence you need, and consult with witnesses and experts to build a compelling argument in your favor.
How to Avoid Bootleg Vaping Products
It can be very difficult to tell whether or not a product you are purchasing is truly safe to use. With so many cases of vape-related lung injury occurring throughout the country, the CDC recommends that you cease using vapes and electronic cigarettes as soon as possible.
If you do use these products, do not buy them off the street or from a company that is not well-known or established. Instead, purchase the products at a trusted store. In addition, refrain from adding any substances to the liquid or tampering with the device in any way.
The practice of vaping carries a series of risks, and the market can be unregulated and misleading. If you are the victim of a bootleg vaping product, legal options are available to you.
You can recover damages for medical expenses related to your injuries, lost wages during recovery time, and emotional damages due to the injury. Contact an Orange County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.