Hawk Law Group | July 12, 2022 | South Carolina Law
Vaping is the practice of inhaling an aerosol that contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. Devices used to create the aerosol include:
- Vape pens
- Pod system
- Vape mod
- Disposable vaping devices
- Other electronic devices with fillable tanks
Many states have enacted laws to protect minors from purchasing vaping devices. South Carolina has specific laws regarding vaping devices and minors.
What Are the Vaping Laws in South Carolina?
South Carolina does not have as many vaping laws as some other states.
South Carolina Code §16-17-500 makes it illegal to sell tobacco products or alternative nicotine products to minors under the age of 18 years. Alternative nicotine products are defined by the statute to include vaping products. Contrast that law with the federal minimum age for tobacco products, which is 21 years old. That includes e-cigarettes.
Vaping laws in South Carolina also state that:
- It is unlawful to sell products to anyone who does not present proper proof of age.
- Online retailers must perform age verification through an independent, third-party verification service.
- Retail establishments must train employees regarding the unlawful sale or distribution of alternative nicotine products to minors.
- It is unlawful to distribute samples of tobacco products and vaping products to minors under 18 years old.
- It is unlawful to sell or distribute containers of e-liquid unless they contain the required warnings and comply with child-resistant effectiveness standards.
Violations of South Carolina’s vaping laws carry various penalties, depending on the violation. Some violations result in misdemeanor charges. However, a minor who violates the law generally faces civil penalties instead of criminal charges.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Vaping Devices
Several types of personal injury cases relate to vaping devices and e-cigarettes. Three types of personal injury cases involving vaping devices include:
Adolescent Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction can lead to serious health problems, including nicotine poisoning, seizures, and developmental disorders. Parents have sued various companies alleging they target teenagers with marketing campaigns designed to entice teens to begin vaping. The claims include fraud and deceptive trade practices, among other causes of action.
The lawsuits seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by adolescent nicotine addiction. Damages could include, but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Costs of rehab
- Physical pain and suffering
- Decreases in future quality of life
- Developmental delays
- Emotional trauma
In some cases, punitive damages might be justified if the manufacturers intentionally targeted their ads to teenagers, especially since teenagers are prohibited from purchasing vaping devices and e-cigarettes.
Lung Injuries and Illnesses
Vaping-induced lung injury includes several diseases, such as:
- Popcorn lung
- EVALI (severe damage to the lungs caused by e-cigarette and vaping products)
- Vaping-related lipoid pneumonia
- Collapsed lung (primary spontaneous pneumothorax)
It is unknown whether vaping is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. E-cigarettes have not been in use long enough to adequately determine if they can increase the risk of developing lung cancer like traditional tobacco products.
Individuals who suffer from vape-related lung injuries can sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. They may incur substantial economic damages, including medical bills, loss of income, and other monetary losses. Additionally, they may experience pain and suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life.
Exploding E-Cigarettes and Vaping Devices
Vaping devices require batteries to heat the coils that turn the liquid into an aerosol for inhaling. Some vapes use lithium-ion batteries, which can catch fire or explode if they become too hot. The cause could be a defect with the device, the charging device, or misuse of the product.
Exploding vapes have caused serious injuries and deaths. Injuries include massive trauma to the jaw and face, along with significant scarring and disfigurement. The injuries and long-term impairments can be catastrophic.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim Regarding a Vaping Device?
Vaping lawsuits are complex personal injury claims. The best way to know whether you have grounds for a vaping lawsuit is to talk with a personal injury lawyer.
An attorney listens to what happened to you or your family member and investigates the circumstances of your injury. Then, the lawyer advises you of your legal options for pursuing an injury claim.
Do not wait to talk with a lawyer. There are deadlines for filing lawsuits for vaping injuries. The statute of limitations for filing claims depends on the type of lawsuit and the facts of the case.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.