Vaping is becoming a liability hot topic

Published: September 30, 2019



The dangers of vaping have recently made news headlines and liability is now under the spotlights. Following a recent situation in London, Ontario where a high school student was on life support due to a “severe respiratory illness” associated with electronic cigarettes.

“There were lawsuits many years ago to determine liability if you were smoking cigarettes; that’s all extremely well-documented,” said Gary Hirst, president of CHES Special Risk.

CHES Special Risk is a company that specializes in insurance for buildings, contents, equipment and business interruption, for vape stores. “There are health exclusions on those [vaping] policies and that is standard market practice.”

“[For vaping], we’re not aware of anybody that is giving coverage under the liability, which would include injury as a result of smoking,” Hirst said in an interview. “Whether it’s for the owner of the vape store or the vendor of the vape machines, coverage is not available for bodily injury as a result of smoking something that is bad for you.”

South of the border in the United States, over 800 cases where lung injuries were related to vaping, with twelve deaths across 10 states.

“We know very little about the long-term effects associated with e-cigarettes, but our findings so far are enough to convince us of the need to advise the public,” Dr. Chris Mackie, chief medical officer of health for Middlesex-London, told the London Free Press recently.

“Really, there’s no research done on these flavours and they’re not sanctioned by the Surgeon General and, of course, cigarettes come with a big warning on the side,” Hirst added. “I think these vape liquids and machines come with a warning, but unfortunately, I think a lot of these things are untested and as a result, it’s causing injury to users.”