JUUL Heart Attack

JUUL Related Heart Attacks

Much of the debate regarding the relative health risks of vaping versus cigarettes has been framed around the lungs, specifically carcinogens causing lung cancer, meanwhile ignoring the very real effects that vaping and cigarette smoke have on the rest of the body and on other lung diseases.   One in every three cigarette smoking deaths is cardiovascular (including a stroke or heart attack), so it is important to research and determine whether vaping has the ability to cause cardiovascular risks similar to cigarette smoke.  A group of researchers at West Virginia University’s School of Medicine set out to determine just that.  Given the growing epidemic of vaping among teenagers and young adults, and the need to immediately investigate the long-term cardiovascular effects from vaping, the researchers opted to conduct an 8-month exposure study on mice, which is equivalent to 25 human years.

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The mice were broken up into three exposure groups: (1) e-cig vapor, (2) cigarette smoke, and (3) clean, filtered air.  The starting age at exposure (13-14 weeks old), followed by 8 months of exposure (ending at 12 months old) represents exposure beginning at adolescence and continuing into adulthood.  In human terms, this is the same as a middle school-aged child continuing to smoke through early adulthood.  This is an ideal study design as vaping amongst kids is on the rise, with 3.8 million kids vaping overall, and 5% of middle school kids reporting chronic e-cigarette use.

The e-cig group of mice were exposed in whole-body chambers to e-cig vapor in amounts similar to what is reported by vape users, and then analyzed their blood vessels.  The researchers found that even low levels of exposure to e-cig vapor resulted in a 2.5 to 3-fold increase in arterial stiffness, similar to the level of risk found from exposure to traditional cigarette smoke.  Stiff vessels are the hallmark of cardiovascular disease and the clinical implication is that chronic vaping impairs vascular function much like cigarette smoke.

JUUL specifically designed their product to emulate a cigarette as much as possible, testing repeatedly to ensure their product created similar spikes in nicotine absorption into the blood, similar spikes in heart rate changes from the dose. Given they tried to mimic every aspect of what happens in your cardiovascular system when you smoke a cigarette, is it surprising they may have succeeded in recreating the same arterial and cardiovascular damage from long term use?

It remains unknown exactly why low-level exposures to e-cig vapors causes such an increased risk in cardiovascular disease.  The researchers hypothesized one potential explanation for the increased risk may be that e-cigarettes, like cigarettes, produce high levels of ultrafine particulate matter, which are more easily brought into and out of the lung and penetrate more deeply than larger particles.  These ultrafine particles easily traverse the alveolar-capillary interface and gain direct access to vascular endothelial cells and the bloodstream.  Another possible explanation is that e-cigs contain nicotine, which is capable of inducing vascular dysfunction on its own and acutely increasing vascular wall stiffness.   Most vapers report going through at least one Juul pod per day, and a single Juul pod contains even more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.   The results of the study were published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, and the researchers warned that the vaping industry’s representation that vaping is safer than cigarette smoke is in fact not true.

James S. Braaten

James S. Braaten

Product Liability & Toxic Tort Attorney

JUUL Heart Attack Attorney

James Braaten, Esq. is Of Counsel to Clark & DiStefano, and a Senior Litigation Counsel for the firm.  Mr. Braaten has over 25+ years of experience in litigating Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts.  Mr. Braaten has a unique background.  He started his career in 1994 as a defense litigator in Products Liability, Mass Torts and Toxic Torts. For over 18 years, he was the National Coordinating Counsel (“NCC”), Regional Counsel and Trial Counsel in mass torts and complex products liability matters for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

If you or a loved one was injured after vaping or juuling, contact the JUUL lawyers at Clark & DiStefano today. You can reach us at 1-609-719-1901, jbraaten@braatenllc.com, or through this page. We offer free consultations and only charge a fee if there is a recovery.

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