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Harvard Study Suggests E-Cigarettes Contain Harmful Chemical Diacetyl

Legal News GavelE-cigarettes, or vapor cigarettes, have become an incredibly popular alternative to traditional tobacco products, with over 250 different companies currently selling the devices. Many tout the electronic apparatuses as a better alternative to using traditional tobacco products because they produce less odor, cost less than traditional tobacco products, and are less dangerous when it comes to creating fire hazards.

Despite these alleged benefits, some researchers have dug into whether the new alternative provides fewer health risks than using traditional tobacco products. Last month, Harvard University researchers produced results from a study in which they examined a few different types of flavored electronic cigarette products. The study involved testing over 50 varieties of flavored products and liquids marketed by the most common brands. The tests looked for a variety of chemicals, including diacetyl, acetoin, and two varieties of pentanedione.

According to the results of the study, over three-quarters of these products contained diacetyl, an ingredient that may result in respiratory illness. The study also revealed the presence of two additional chemicals that may be harmful in flavors geared toward younger users, like cupcake and cotton candy.

OSHA, the organization responsible for monitoring occupational safety and health, have issued warnings about diacetyl after employees and industrial workers began exhibiting a painful and devastating respiratory illness called bronchiolitis obliterans, also referred to as popcorn lung. The disease became prevalent when workers in a microwave popcorn manufacturing plant contracted the illness after inhaling the buttery flavoring applied to the popcorn containing diacetyl.

With over 7,000 different types of flavored electronic cigarette products on the market, frequent users of these products could be at serious risk for contracting bronchiolitis obliterans. Despite their popularity and companies’ insistence that electronic cigarettes are a better alternative to traditional tobacco products, many users are entirely unaware that these chemicals are contained within some of their favorite and most frequently used electronic cigarette refill cartridges.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the manufacture or marketing of electronic cigarette products. However, the agency has proposed a rule that would bring the products under its jurisdiction. Users who believe they may have suffered injuries as a result of using electronic cigarette products can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer. This type of claim is a strict liability claim and seeks to compensate the plaintiff for the defendant’s failure to warn the user about the product’s dangers, or to provide appropriate instructions with the product. The plaintiff must then show that this failure was the direct cause of his or her injuries and provide evidence supporting the amount of damages that he or she is seeking in the lawsuit.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as the result of using electronic cigarette products, or another dangerously defective device, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our product liability lawyers have substantial experience representing victims who have suffered harm due to a company’s dangerously designed or manufactured products and can help put together a strong claim. Representing plaintiffs across the United States, including in Florida, Texas, and New York, we offer a free consultation to help you learn about the scope of your rights. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment now.

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