For California consumers, making informed purchasing decisions relies on access to public information to product safety. The Food and Drug Administration just made a decision that will make it easier for consumers to report defective e-cigarettes, a process that was previously more complicated. These new rules could also make it easier for injury victims to bring product liability suits against manufacturers of these types of tobacco products.
This is not the FDA’s first attempt to regulate e-cigarettes and vape products, but its most recent action proved to be more successful than its 2014 attempt. In May 2016, the FDA effectively banned the sale of e-cigs to individuals under the age of 18. The FDA’s director at the Center for Tobacco Products noted that there is currently no safe tobacco product acknowledged by the agency.
E-cig manufacturers often present their products as safe alternatives to traditional cigarette use. Despite this claim, there have already been a multitude of consumer complaints related to the safety and efficacy of the e-cigarette devices. The new online reporting tool will allow affected users to more quickly report incidents of allergic reactions, burns and poisoning from their e-cigs. By doing this, the FDA hopes to create a more comprehensive regulation program for tobacco products.
Part of the concern regarding e-cigs is first-time use by young individuals. These users might not be able to immediately discern that there is an inherent defect with their devices, although any user of any experience level can still be seriously harmed by defectively manufactured product. Product liability claims are usually one of the best options for people in California who have been wrongly harmed by a product, as the resulting compensation can be applied to physical, financial and emotional damages.
Source: theverge.com, “The FDA just made it easier to report defective e-cigarettes“, Rich McCormick, June 9, 2016