Can exposure to toxins lead to product liability for hookah use?

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It seems the message about the dangers of cigarettes have made an impression on today’s youth. However, the entire message has been somehow skewed since teens, especially, have turned to another source for their tobacco use. There has been an extraordinary rise in the number of young people from New York and every other state who have admitted to using hookah pipes. Due to the high risk of exposure to toxins, the possibility that the makers of these implements could be the subject of a product liability case may grow.

Reportedly, slightly less than 20 percent of teenagers partake in this latest tobacco fad. The hookahs are a water-filled pipe through which the users inhale a variety of flavored smoke. The process of burning the tobacco releases high concentrations of carbon monoxide fumes, as well as toxic metals and chemicals that have been implicated in causing cancers.

One of the by-products is benzene, which has been shown to play a role in leukemia. Moreover, carbon monoxide can harm the user’s heart health. Even smoking a hookah one time can lead to poisoning from carbon monoxide. Many teens seem to believe that these tobacco devices are relatively safe, but long-term use can lead to even more serious consequences, since the users take deeper and more frequent inhalations.

The teens who come from more affluent and educated backgrounds are apparently the ones more inclined to partake of the smoking devices. However, most are unaware of the serious health risks that hookahs pose. New York families who strongly suspect that the use of one of these implements may have led to the development of a serious illness or disease may choose to assess the viability of pursuing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturers and/or other parties that may be responsible.

Source: wallstcheatsheet.com, “Hookah: An Adolescent Trend More Dangerous Than Smoking“, Susmita Baral, July 12, 2014