Jennifer Cox of Orange County, Calif., filed a lawsuit last November against sellers and manufacturers of e-cigarettes, claiming “deceptive misrepresentation” of their e-liquids.
The class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division is against Cuttwood, Molecule Labs and five others alleging violations of California’s Deceptive False and Misleading Advertising Law among others.
Cuttwood is a brand of e-liquids used in e-cigarettes, and contains diacetyl (DA) and acetyl propionyl (AP), which, according to the FDA, is safe for consumption by eating or drinking. However, the inhalation of the chemicals has been linked to serious lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit states that Cuttwood’s e-liquid flavors “contain the highest concentration of DA and AP levels of any e-liquid,” even though the presence of these chemicals is not reflected on the warning label. Per the suit, the detection of DA and AP in Cuttwood’s products by independent laboratory tests has been confirmed.
Cox, as well as others, claim that the seller’s “deceptive, false, and misleading claims” led to her purchasing the e-liquids without realizing the toxicity and impurities within, posing “potential health hazards” to Cox and other consumers.
Diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione (a diacetyl substitute) are chemicals that produce a buttery or creamy flavoring. It is found in microwave popcorn, flavored coffee, ready-to-mix desserts, oil sprays, and many more processed products.
When inhaled, a person becomes at risk for developing obliterative bronchiolitis, a serious lung disease that is also known as “popcorn lung” for the microwave popcorn plant workers that developed the lung disease in 2000.
Obliterative bronchiolitis is a disease where the smallest airways of the lungs become scarred and restricted. The symptoms include difficulty breathing, and are very similar to the symptoms of COPD. This is a lung disease that is only treatable by lung transplant.