E-cigarettes (nicknamed “vapes” or “e-cigs”) have rocketed in popularity since hitting the market in 2007, and have helped many people to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarette are used by millions of people around the world and have become a billion dollar industry. In its most basic form, a vape electronically delivers nicotine to the user in the form of a heated vapor. There are over 500 brands and models to chose from, according to some estimations.
But even though they have helped some people become healthier, are they safe to use? First and foremost, a e-cigarette is an electrical device that comes with inherent electrical risks. Unfortunately, many of these devices have caught fire or even exploded in people’s mouths, leading to severe injury.
Of the three main components of an e-cigarette, the battery and charging poses the most risks to the consumer. The danger stems from the fact that we are squeezing a lot of power into a very small lithium ion battery pack. In fact, a 2014 study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that about 80% of explosions of e-cigarettes occurred while the device was charging. However, there have also been reports of e-cigarettes spontaneously combusting while in the user’s mouth, hand or pocket. Such explosions can result in serious injury, disfiguration, or even death.
Another hazard associated with vapes is the potential for overheating. Although some e-cigarettes turnoff automatically after a period of time, some do not. In this case, the device is capable of reaching high temperatures and overheating. When a device overheats, it can catch fire or even explode. Still another hazard exists if the battery seal breaks.
Always use an e-cigarette with extreme caution and remember that above all else, it is an electrical device capable of malfunctioning. Never smoke an e-cigarette while charging. Only charge your device on the power cord provided by the manufacturer – even if it seems to fit other charge ports. Do not overcharge the device or leave it plugged in for prolonged periods of time.
If you were burned or injured by an exploding e-cigarette, consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident, as you may have a claim against the manufacturer for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. For more information on burn injuries, check out our page here. Contact the experienced Huntsville, Alabama accident attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. today for a free consultation.