November – Not Solely for Thanksgiving
Every year just before Thanksgiving, the estimated 43.8 million Americans who smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes are challenged to stop for 24 hours. The American Cancer Society has designated the third Thursday of every November as the Great American Smokeout, an event which began in the 1970s when smoking and secondhand smoke were commonplace. Since that time, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has decreased from more than 42 percent to around 18 percent. Yet, smoking is still responsible for nearly one in five deaths. By quitting, even for one day, smokers can take an important step toward a healthier life. Of course, permanently quitting is notoriously difficult. Currently, electronic cigarettes (also called vapor cigarettes) are a common option for many people who are trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke or to quit altogether. Although e-cigarettes are available in disposable forms, the rechargeable versions are more popular. These plastic devices include a small battery and a cartridge of liquid nicotine. Despite their popularity, electronic cigarettes have not been approved by any government for helping people quit smoking. In fact, vapor cigarettes may pose several additional health hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in calls to poison control centers nationwide due to ingestion, inhalation or exposure of eyes or skin to the liquid nicotine. The FDA has also received reports of adverse events including hospitalization for illnesses such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, disorientation, and seizures allegedly due to e-cigarettes. Even more concerning, e-cigarettes and their lithium-ion batteries have reportedly caused explosions and fires. One in Florida severely burned a man and caused him to lose his front teeth and part of his tongue. Another in Utah left a child with first and second degree burns. A third in Minnesota erupted in a shower of sparks, catching a carpet on fire. Thomas Kiklas, an industry spokesman who represents the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, is aware of the failures and guessed there were 10 in the last year. The actual number may be much higher. If you or someone you love has been injured by electronic cigarettes or their chargers, you will need an experienced attorney to effectively represent your interests. At the Mann Law Firm, we have over 50 years of experience helping people. Let us help you. We can be reached at 478-742-3381 in Macon, Dublin, Warner Robbins or Milledgeville, or through our online form.