The smoking of e-cigarettes, or vaping as it is referred to, has been growing at a rapid pace in the U.S. and worldwide since being introduced in 2007. The use of e-cigs was originally marketed as a safe alternative to smoking but has since become popular, especially with millennials, as a social activity. Vape parlors or lounges have opened in virtually every U.S. city and the e-cigs are now available in a myriad of different flavors. But how safe are these devices
Recently reports have trickled in regarding toxicity in the vapors. But the most alarming reports are those of the e-cigs catching fire or exploding. One New York man filed a lawsuit against the maker of an e-cigarette after it allegedly exploded in his mouth on May 16. After hitting the power button of his cigarette he experienced what he described “like an M-80 went off in my mouth.”
He was alone at the time and found himself on the floor of his home, on fire, with his arms paralyzed. He is continuing treatments for his injuries which included blown out teeth and a hole blasted through his tongue.
In other cases, the injuries were also severe as in the case of a New Jersey man who suffered leg burns when the device blew up in his pocket last year. Another Southern California man was injured received serious injuries when an e-cigarette exploded as he was holding it.
Accidents Increase with the Popularity of Vaping
There are no accurate statistics on how many people have been injured and how much property has been destroyed as the result of exploding or flaming e-cigs. The numbers have been rising steadily as the popularity of vaping continues to grow. It is estimated that there are over 450 brands of e-cigarettes on the market. Sales of e-cigs in the United States have surpassed 1.5 billion annually.
Why They Catch Fire
E-cigs are available in two forms, one with a replaceable liquid cartridge and the other with a refillable tank. Both types operate with a rechargeable lithium battery. It is this battery that is the culprit in most explosions and fires. Most of the incidents occurred during charging of the battery, while others occurred while the devices were being carried. Others, while fewer, have been reported as happening while the device was in use. Those produced the most serious injuries, but the charging process, often with the wrong charger, caused most of the fire damage to property.
In one injury case in Michigan, it is believed that the change being carried in one individuals pocket caused the lithium battery to explode causing second and third degree burns. According to Fox News, West Michigan, the man was changing his sons diaper when he felt the heat increasing in his pocket. By the time he could get his pants off, it had already flared up.
In May of this year the U.S. Food and Drug administration passed new regulations regarding e-cigarettes. However, these new FDA regulations pertain to the nicotine content and health concerns but do not address the batteries or electronics used in the devices.
“The tobacco company will tell you it causes lung cancer but the vape store ain’t gonna tell you, you could lose your hand, lose your face or lose half your leg” the Grand Rapids man told Fox News.
If You Are Injured or Suffer Property Damage
Any person who has been seriously injured or suffered the loss of property do to and exploding or flaming e-cigarette should contact a product liability attorney as soon as possible. There could be compensation available for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income.
If you suffered due to a fire or explosion cause by an electronic cigarette, call Dolman Law at 732-451-6900 and speak with a qualified product liability attorney. There is no cost for an evaluation of your case and certainly, no obligation. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you.Dolman Law Group
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