Exploding E-Cigarette Injuries
Millions of people have turned to electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes to either cut back or quit regular cigarettes. How safe are they, though? Many have been burned and injured when these devices malfunction and explodes in a person’s hand, face or pocket.
Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs or vape are an electronic nicotine delivery system that produces a heated vapor, resembling smoke. They were first commercialized in China in 2004. However, now U.S. consumers make up 43% of the electronic cigarette market, which equates to $8 billion in the world market. This equals more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. are using them.
Using a heating element, the devices vaporize a liquid solution, which can deliver various levels of nicotine. Some activate the heating coil automatically when a user takes a drag from the device. Some are manual. Many use a lithium-ion battery to power the device.
E-Cigarette Injuries after Explosion
Documented injuries from e-cigarette explosions have happened since the device first came on the market. Also, in 2015, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) even banned carrying these devices in checked baggage. The organization worried the e-cigarette could explode.
The most common explosion injuries are:
- First, second, and third-degree burns (many occurring on the face)
- Hot oil burns
- Shattered or lost teeth
- Damaged neck
- Broken facial bones
- Tongue burns and partial loss of tongue
- Smoke inhalation
- Burns to the cornea
- Facial lacerations and punctures
- Shrapnel wounds (from parts of the exploding vaping device)
- Partial loss of fingers
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the cases of internal battery explosion and found that 80% of victims had flame burns, 33% had chemical burns and 27% had other blast injuries. The majority of incidences were to the fact, hands, thigh or groin.
The reason why so many are being hurt is there is a severe lack of regulations, codes, or laws governing the safety of the batteries in e-cigarettes. Agencies are starting to recognize the danger. In April 2017, the FDA conducted a two-day public workshop on “Battery Safety Concerns in Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)”. This was an attempt to gather information on battery overheating, fire, explosion, and other failures. The FDA then gave away the responsibility and said manufacturers should test the batteries better. Raising the manufacturer standards means that many companies are taking shortcuts.
Companies purchase substandard lower wattage batteries then rewrap them and pretend they are safe. Rewrapped batteries often advertise inaccurate ratings like indicating a 30-ampere rating that was only 20 A. If a product calls for a 30 A but if a user is using a 20 A battery, then the battery will stress and could possibly explode.
We Want to Help Victims
Therefore, if an exploding electronic cigarette burned you, you may have a claim against the manufacturers of the device and battery. This means you may be able to recoup damages for your injury.
Contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm today for a free consultation to learn more about seeking justice. Compensation may be available for any medical expenses associated with this ordeal, as well as for your physical and emotional suffering. There is no obligation.