Exploding E-Cigarettes Can Not Only Injure, But Also Kill
This summer has, unfortunately, seen its fair share of people injured and killed by exploding e-cigarettes, including incidents here in Florida.
According to recent reporting, one in every 10 American adults has tried or regularly uses e-cigarettes. These “cigarette-like” devices are battery-powered, whereby the battery heats an “e-liquid” containing nicotine that is then released in aerosol form. The lithium ion batteries have the potential to explode, significantly injuring or killing people using the devices. Not only can they cause catastrophic injuries to someone’s face, but also significant burns to their body.
Larger Devices Can Be Deadly
According to reports, the larger vaporizers (i.e. those bigger in size and shape than traditional cigarettes) come with much larger and more powerful batteries, making them more likely to overcharge or short the battery, which can lead to a dramatic failure. While lithium ion batteries have been known to fail in other devices as well (such as laptops), incidents involving e-cigarettes can cause especially significant injuries because the devices are typically in one’s hands, pockets or mouth, leaving the user particularly vulnerable to injuries.
These Injuries Are Significant
Between 2009 and 2016, there were at least 195 separate c-cigarette fires and explosions reported by the media. This included one that exploded in a man’s face, burning his chest, face, hands, and lungs, and another exploding in a man’s pocket, causing him to suffer third-degree burns and leaving him unable to work. In May, an exploding vape pen killed a man in Florida after shrapnel from the device became lodged in his skill, and the blaze lit his body on fire.
However, they do not just injure e-cigarette users: in 2016, a 14-year-old girl in Orlando suffered burns after an e-cigarette exploded in the pocket of someone nearby.
Can You Avoid a Risk of Explosions?
According to the chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (as reported by CNN), there are two steps that e-cigarette users can avoid to minimize the risk of an explosion:
- Make sure that you rely on the charger that came with the battery and that it has an automatic shutoff device to prevent overcharging; and
- Never carry the battery out of its case in your pocket and/or near metal objects like keys or coins, as this can cause them to short themselves out.
The Food and Drug Administration also recommends replacing batteries if they get damaged or wet.
Are E-Cigarettes Actually “Healthy” Alternatives to Regular Cigarettes?
It is also important to keep in mind that vape pens deliver nicotine, which poses the same cardiovascular risks that cigarettes do, and they are just as addictive. In fact, in late July, one company, ARAMAX, was forced to pull its vape juice completely out of the market because the product contained toxic levels of nicotine. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend avoiding them.
Florida Personal Injury, Defective Product & Wrongful Death Lawyers
The Florida law firm of Douglas & Douglas has represented people harmed by lithium ion batteries exploding in e-cigarettes. Contact us today if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product.