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E-Cigarettes: Helpful or Hurtful?

When the huge pharmacy and drug store chain CVS announced that it would no longer sell cigarettes in the name of promoting public health, it was a brilliant public relations strategy. People championed their altruism for being willing to stand up to big tobacco and forego the profits that come with it. But was that what CVS was doing? CVS sells e-cigarettes, which is expected to become a 2 billion dollar industry this year that is currently unregulated. Analysts predict that if current trends hold, the e-cigarette market will overtake the traditional cigarette market by 2023. CVS’s altruism looks like a good business decision.

E-cigarettes are made up of nicotine and “e-juice,” which is propylene glycol. Both ingredients are turned into vapor through a heating process and inhaled rather than smoke like traditional combustible cigarettes. The e-juice comes in many flavones, and your Denver Personal Injury Attorney warns that the sweet flavors have garnered criticism for enticing teens to try e-cigarettes. In fact, the percentage of teenagers using e-cigarettes more than doubled in just one year, between 2011-2012. The fear is that rather than being used as a smoking cessation device, the e-cigarettes are actually a gateway for kids to get hooked on nicotine. 

On the other hand, your Denver Personal Injury Attorney points out that there is evidence that people are using e-cigarettes to wean themselves from traditional cigarettes. Although not much is yet known about the long-term effects of inhaling the vapor and of inhaling (rather than smoking) nicotine, the long-term effects of smoking are known and are very harmful. Therefore, the thinking goes, anything that helps someone to stop smoking, is better than smoking. Nicotine is a known entity; the inhalation of it is not. The vapor, however, is more worrisome. Many states, including Colorado and its Department of Public Health, are requesting that e-cigarettes be regulated. Although the FDA missed its own deadline the week of March 24, 2014, to post proposed regulations, it has stated that it will be regulating the popular e-cigarettes as tobacco products because they contain the highly addictive ingredient nicotine.

One clear advantage of e-cigarettes is the less harmful second-hand effects. Although the nicotine and e-juice vapors are not completely benign, studies have shown that their effects on those around the e-smoker are almost immeasurable and certainly nowhere near the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. Evidence such as this has led to an acceptance by most businesses and public places of e-cigarettes; whereas society has largely grown intolerant of smoking traditional cigarettes anywhere but outside or in private homes and spaces, people are much more accepting of e-smokers. Again, however, this can be seen as a double-edged sword if the e-cigarette is being used as a cessation device. 

Tobacco companies have been a huge catalyst for lawsuits in the past, as many people fell ill due to their harmful ingredients found in the products. However, filing a suit against a large company such as a tobacco conglomerate is not a feat to be faced without the help of a well-established lawyer. If you believe you have a claim against a big wig company and would like a consultation to further discuss your options, contact Denver Personal Injury Lawyer Jordan Levine at Levine Law today. 

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