Unregulated and Under-regulated E-Cigarette Products Present Safety Risks for Consumers
Each year in the United States, approximately 90,000 fires are caused from cigarettes and other smoking materials. These shocking statistics may not include many of the electronic cigarette (E-cig) and personal vaporizer accidents, which are regularly underreported.
Since E-cigarettes were first available for sale in the U.S. in 2007, the devices have grown in popularity, and the latest data from the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that more than 2.5 million Americans are using e-cigs and vaporizers.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that as the number of consumers using E-cigs increases, the number of related accidents is also likely to increase. However, the majority of package warnings on E-cig products fail to mention fire, burn and explosion hazards.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also aware of the personal safety risks of E-cigs, but the agency is not currently regulating these new devices. With nearly 90 percent of e-cigarette products coming from overseas where manufacturing standards are more relaxed, it is hard to verify the safety of all smoking devices on the market.
Joe Lyon is a highly rated Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and product defect cases.
Overuse—Users of E-cigs misuse the product on occasion, and overuse can cause the device to overheat and explode. Personal vaporizes typically have built-in circuits to limit the time that the heating element can be active, which prevents overheating accidents. However, without more safety oversight there are no assurances that these safety functions are always available or reliable.
Wet Devices—E-cigarettes are electronic devices and may be damaged by water. E-cigs may malfunction and explode with water damage.
Unclean Devices—battery condensation should be cleaned before it is charged. This keeps the device from malfunctioning and also extends the life of the battery and the atomizer. Lithium-ion battery-powered devices have a risk of explosion, and the possible burn injuries can be quite severe.
Charging Accidents—only the charger sold with your e-cigarette is fully compatible. Many exploding e-cigarette incidents involve using the wrong charger. Charging can also heat the battery and the surrounding area. Users should take into account basic fire safety precautions. Charging for a longer period of time than necessary is ill-advised.
Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most common power sources for smaller consumer electronics like cell phone s and e-cigarettes, though many consumers are unaware that they may catch on fire, explode, and cause serious injuries.
Lithium-ion batteries are known to fail and incite fires and explosions. There are multiple reports of fires caused by failures of E-cigarette lithium-ion batteries. The injuries sustained are quite serious, most commonly to the mouth, hands and face. In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled hundreds of products for defective lithium-ion batteries installed, specifically for presenting explosion, fire and burn hazards.
In 2015, the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported 15 independent E-cigarette fire incidents. Unlike smartphones and other electronics, e-cigarettes are currently an unregulated product, so the total injuries caused may be greatly underestimated. Reports of battery malfunction explosions describe the defective E-cigarettes behaving like “flaming rockets.”
Medical personnel at trauma and burn units across the United States are reporting an increase of E-cig and vaporizer-related injuries. The burn injuries are likely to affect the mouth, face, hands, and sometimes the eyes.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective E-cigarette device or vaporizer, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.