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Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

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A 14-year-old Tennessee girl required hospital treatment after another man’s e-cigarette exploded on a Harry Potter amusement ride. The girl was on vacation with family at the time, when a man’s e-cigarette exploded and shot a fireball right at her, burning her face, leg and arm. The owner of the e-cigarette also sustained minor injuries. This wouldn’t be the first time a malfunctioning e-cigarette explosion, injuring the user or those around it.

In California, a teenager sustained first and second-degree burns on his leg when an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket. A man from Colorado was seriously injured when an e-cigarette exploded in his face, resulting in a broken neck, severe burns in his mouth, facial fractures and shattered teeth.

Why Do E-Cigarettes Explode?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 80 percent of e-cigarette explosions occur during charging, most of which is linked to the use of a different charger than one that was originally sold with the model.

Approximately 12 percent of e-cigarette explosions occur when the devices are in use, which is how injuries occur. This is most likely due to the use of lithium ion batteries. However, lithium ion batteries are more likely to explode due to poor design, use of low-quality materials, manufacturing defects and user error. All of these factors can contribute to a “thermal runaway,” where the internal battery temperature increases and causes the battery to ignite.

Fortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stepped in earlier this year and announced it will start regulating e-cigarettes and related products. This includes:

  • Requiring age limits to purchase e-cigarette products
  • Requiring clearer product labels
  • More accurate health warnings

Additionally, E-cigarette manufactures will have to submit their products to the FDA for approval. Products will now be scrutinized for safe manufacturing processes, ingredient quality, and emissions safety data. Hopefully these regulations will help reduce the number of injuries caused by e-cigarette explosions in the future

Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury attorney that helps those injured due to defective products in Nashville, Tennessee.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12


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