The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking new steps to tighten the regulations on e-cigarette products, which have recently become popular based on claims that they pose less of a health risk to users than traditional tobacco products. According to the federal agency, e-cigarettes, as well as pipe tobacco, cigars, and hookah tobacco, will now be regulated according to the existing rules for smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, and roll-your-own smoking products. The new regulations will take effect 90 days from the date the new rule was enacted, which is August 3, 2016.
Under the new rules, tobacco companies will be required to submit information about their e-cigarette and tobacco products to the agency for pre-approval, including a list of the ingredients included in the product. They will also need to apply certain warnings on the products’ packaging and advertisements before they can begin marketing the products.
E-cigarettes consist of a handheld electronic device that vaporizes nicotine fluid held within a compartment in the device. It is also commonly referred to as vaping. E-cigarettes have been especially popular among the younger crowd.
A number of health-focused groups applauded the agency’s action, claiming that these products pose equal dangers to users and should be regulated as such. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell indicated that the move toward stronger regulations is intended in part to help fight teen addiction to tobacco and nicotine products. According to Burwell, the agency has not come across any research or information indicating that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes and traditional smoking products.
If you have been injured or suffered damages as the result of using an e-cigarette or other tobacco product, you may file product liability and negligence claims against the manufacturer to seek compensation for your injuries. These claims require the plaintiff to prove certain elements. In a product liability claim, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the product was designed in an unreasonably unsafe manner or that the product was manufactured in a defective manner. A product can also be defective for lack of sufficient warnings or instructions.
Conversely, in a negligence action, the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant failed to use due care when designing, manufacturing, labeling, and marketing the product. Both of these claims can require extensive investigation into the product design and whether or not reasonably safer alternatives existed at the time the product was manufactured.
There are a variety of damages available to successful plaintiffs in a product liability and negligence action, including pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and loss of consortium for a spouse affected by a loved one’s injuries. The specific burden of proof for each category of damages depends on the state in which you file your claim. Knowing which categories of damages may be available to you in your state is a critical consideration to address before filing your claim.
Moll Law Group proudly represents injured people throughout the United States, including in California, New York, Florida, and Illinois. Our skilled team of product liability lawyers provides a free consultation to help you learn about the legal options that may be available to you and your family. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment now.