More Dangers for E-Cigarette Users- “Dripping” & “Smoke Tricks” Increase Among Teens

With the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking so well known by now, some adults and teens alike, have moved to e-cigarettes as a “safer” alternative. Commonly referred to as “e-cigs”, or vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, or e-pipes, these are all classified as types of Electronic Nicfile0001235972358-300x225otine Delivery Systems (ENDS). Are e-cigarettes safer than regular cigarettes? Don’t be too sure- these products still contain nicotine. A December report from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy found e-cigarettes are now “the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. In fact, use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased by 900% from 2011 to 2015, according to the report.

How Do E-cigarettes Work?

E-cigarettes, or ENDS products, use a liquid that contains nicotine as well as varying combinations of flavoring, propylene glycol, glycerin, and other ingredients. This liquid is heated into an aerosol which is inhaled by the user. The liquid is heated into an aerosol that the user inhales and then exhales in a cloud. Flavorings might include mango, bubble gum, cherry, or other “sweet” flavors. Regular cigarettes, on the other hand, are banned from having added flavors to make them less enticing to children.

Latest “Trend” in E-Cigarettes

According to CNN, new research finds that teens are using e-cigarettes for an alternative use, known as “dripping”. According to the article, “Dripping produces thicker clouds of vapor, gives a stronger sensation in the throat and makes flavors taste better”. In comparison to “vaping”, “dripping is a more labor-intensive method of vaping in which the user manually applies a few drops of liquid directly to the exposed heating coil of the e-cig every so many puffs,” said Alan Shihadeh, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Aerosol Research Laboratory at the American University of Beirut. Of those surveyed, one in four teens who vape say they’ve used e-cigarettes for “dripping,”.

E-Cigarette “Tricks”

Another concerning alternative use of e-cigarettes? Smoke tricks. According to Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, lead author and a professor in the department of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, “You can inhale the vapor or the aerosol, and then you blow it out of your mouth or nose, and you create all different kinds of shapes,” she said. “People create dragons and volcanoes and little hearts.” There are vape fests and competitions dedicated to smoke tricks, which are becoming popular.

Safety & Health Concerns About E-Cigarettes & Dripping

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Perhaps the e-cigarettes contain less nicotine than regular cigarettes but they still don’t come without health concerns. The risks and dangers of using e-cigarettes to a humans health are still not fully known. Complications are of even greater concern with “dripping” since a higher heat is used in dripping, therefore emitting a higher level of harmful chemicals. Some concerns with “dripping” are:

  • Inhaling harmful chemicals including formaldehyde and acrolein, which may cause cancer.
  • Chemicals like propylene glycol and glycerine, and flavor chemicals, which when heated at high temperatures could produce high levels of carcinogenic compounds.
  • Absorption of nicotine through skin contact (skin absorbs nicotine rapidly) by handling the liquid.
  • If enough liquid is spilled a “vapor” could be exposed to toxic levels of nicotine.
  • Young children hurt by spilled liquid. An analysis of calls to the National Poison Data System estimated that more than seven young children accidentally ingest e-liquids left within reach in households each day.
  • Heating coil burns.


New FDA Regulations for E-Cigarettes

Since 2009, the FDA has regulated cigarettes, smokeless, and roll-your-own tobacco. Effective August 18, 2016, the FDA finalized a rule to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Retailers are prohibited from selling any of these products to those under the age of 18.

Beginning In 2018, ENDS product packing and advertisements must contain the warning statement “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”. If the product does not contain nicotine but is still a tobacco related product, it must state “This product is made from tobacco.”

These new regulations are positive moves in keeping teens away from tobacco. However, some teens and adults may seemingly drop regular cigarettes for what they think is a “safer” tobacco alternative. Many of these products still contain nicotine, which is addictive. It is still early in the life of these products and only time will tell of the real health risk associated with e-cigarettes and similar products.

Injuries Caused by E-Cigarette Burns

In addition to health risks, the FDA has identified 134 incidents of e-cigarette batteries overheating, catching fire or exploding in the United States during a seven-year period ending in January 2016. E-cigarette burns, fires, or explosions can result in minor or major injuries. If you are suffering from a burn or injury resulting from an e-cigarette or similar ENDS device, you need legal advice from a RI personal injury lawyer. Call David Tapalian, a highly rated personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island, for a free legal consultation. Tapalian Law specializes in helping those who have been injured by a burn, in a car accident, or another injury caused by the fault of another. Do not delay. There are time limitations to file a lawsuit for your injuries in Rhode Island. Tapalian Law has great experience with personal injury claims and understands the repercussions of an injury including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000 or complete our easy online contact form.

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