A 24-year old man died from injuries to his neck when his vaporizer smoking pen exploded while he was using it earlier this year. This is the second recent death from an exploding e-cigarette, but they've burnt thousands of people.
What are e-cigarettes?
There are a wide range of electronic cigarettes available, including the following:
- E-cigs (including cigars)
- Personal vaporizer pens (vape pens)
- Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS)
They are a very popular option for young smokers and are relatively inexpensive.
What makes e-cigarettes dangerous?
The U.S. Fire Administration blames the lithium-ion batteries within e-cigarettes for starting fires in homes and cars. They point out that this is a new and unique technology with unprecedented dangers to you, the consumer. Safety standards struggle to keep up with new e-cigarette technologies.
The battery in an e-cigarette powers a heating element that heats the cartridge of vaporizing liquid (often a flavored "vape juice") and can power a small LED light on the end of the pen to simulate the burning end of the cigarette. All of this happens about six inches away from your face.
Some models claim to have "circuit protections" on the heating element, but the USFA reports that there is little technical information available to prove this is true or safe. Because of improper assembly or use, they have exploded or flown across the room and sent shrapnel into users' faces and necks.
Many e-cigarette users keep their pens, cartridges, recharging equipment and spare batteries together in a handy pouch or pocket. These could fuel a fire in the event of an explosion.
Consumer products with battery elements should be held to a uniquely high standard of safety. If a defective e-cigarette injures you, explore your legal options to help protect yourself and consumers everywhere.