A 2017 U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report has linked e-cigarette explosions to the faulty design of e-cigarettes. Released in concert with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), the report included extensive review and research into e-cigarette construction. It also examined the reasons why severe injuries are more likely to occur with e-cigarettes than with other products that use lithium-ion batteries.
Design Problem Fires Rockets into Mouth
Study results show a design problem with the dual-cylindrical construction of the e-cigarette product and how it uses batteries. Unlike other products such as cell phones and laptops, e-cigarettes include cylindrical lithium-ion batteries installed in a cylindrical tube that is at its weakest at both ends. Law360 reported that, “Battery failures generate increased pressure that ‘shoots’ the batteries out of the tube like “‘rockets.’”
Other products that use lithium batteries enclose them in thick plastic housings, such as laptops, or else they use flat batteries as cell phones do. A person sucking on the e-cigarette when it explodes can inhale a burning “rocket” and suffer severe mouth and/or head injuries from the heat and chemicals.
Samsung Galaxy Note7 Comparison
Failure to protect against the combustible elements can lead to battery fires. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 phone fires were an example of such a failure. Those fires prompted Samsung to remove the phone from the market and institute an in-depth study to determine the cause(s) of the fires. Airlines banned those phones.
Lithium-ion Batters not safe for Vaping Devices
Unlike Samsung, vaping industry companies have largely ignored e-cigarette explosions. Vape makers have issued dismissive statements that their customers are not using the products correctly. They have blamed the user for improperly charging the vaping devices. But strong rebuttal for that claim comes from the new USFA/FEMA statistics which show 62 percent of the devices exploded while being carried in a pocket or when they were actively in use. Only 25 percent of the explosions occurred during the charging process. The report concludes that lithium-ion batteries “are not a safe source of energy for these devices.”
Some minor safety measures have been implemented to battle the battery explosion incidents. Vaping customers are now encouraged to choose products that display a new UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating to gain at least some level of safety related to the electrical system.
However, it is important to balance that assurance with the knowledge that no requirements exist to submit e-cigarette products to product design and safety testing. Additionally, the standard has no connection to the safety of the liquids used in the cigarettes. These liquids include nicotine and have been linked to health risks similar to and sometimes even worse than those attributed to cigarette smoking.
No Regulations for e-Cigarettes
Alarmingly, no product control regulations directly apply to e-cigarette products. This hands-off policy puts unsuspecting customers at risk. Since no legal requirement ensures product safety, e-cigarette makers and retailers can ignore the injuries and their underlying causes. That position will, sadly, result in more and more explosions and potentially devastating injuries.
e-cigarette explosion injuries include:
blast injuries to face, hands, thighs, eyes
loss of soft tissue
Many c-cigarette injuries are horrific. They can require burn debridement, skin grafts, bone reconstruction, plastic surgery, dental implants, and long-term care. Of the 195 injuries tallied in the USFA/FEMA report, 68 percent were acute and 30 percent severe. The reports’ authors said they were unable to find any other consumer product that carries the same risk of severe, acute injury as e-cigarettes.
e-Cigarette Explosions caused by Faulty Design
E-cigarettes hit the U.S. market in 2007. By 2014, 466 e-cigarette brands and more than 7,700 flavors were on sale. About ten new brands and more than 240 new flavors hit the market every month for an estimated three million users. The industry expects to grow, which means more and more e-cigarette products will hit store shelves. Without any positive response to explosion risks by the vaping industry, the list of injuries is also expected to grow. So. . . vape at your own risk!
E-Cigarette Injury Lawsuit
Our law firm is handling e-cigarette injury cases. If you or someone you love has been injured by an e-cigarette, contact our law firm for a free legal consultation regarding a potential e-cigarette lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer.
• e-Cigarette Explosions caused by Faulty Design