Many people jumped for joy with the invention and increased distribution of the E-Cigarette over the past few years. There was finally a smoking alternative that was easy to shift to, less toxic than cigarettes, and perhaps a life saving discovery. Since they came out, the rate of ex smokers who switched to E-Cigarettes has risen to nearly 4 million individuals. Unfortunately, as many discovered too late, this smoking alternative is not as safe as it first appears.
This is not just because of the nicotine, which is one of the attractive features, yet still harmful and addictive for the human body and brain. And we’re not just talking about the fact that the tasty flavors available can make nicotine more attractive to those who don’t smoke, including our children and teenagers, who might not have tried nicotine otherwise. Rather, what we’re referring to is the fact that your E-Cigarette could actually explode in your face!
How Is This Possible?
E-Cigarettes are made with lithium ion batteries within a cylinder at the base of the often cigarette-shaped device. The battery is needed to vaporize the flavored nicotine-containing liquid, which is then inhaled by the user of the device. These lithium ion batteries are combustible, meaning that they can blow up if the circumstances are right.
This is most likely to happen while the E-Cigarette battery is charging or soon after charging. If it happens while charging, then you may be fortunate enough to not be near it when this happens. If it happens soon after charging, then it may happen while the device is directly contacting your hand and face. Then, there is the impact of the shape of the E-Cigarette, which can turn this explosion into a sort of ‘flaming rocket,’ as it has been described by FEMA.
In fact, FEMA reported that there were nine injuries, including two major burn victims, caused by 25 cases of malfunctioning battery explosions to E-Cigarette users between the years 2009 and 2014. Nobody has died from these injuries, but their severity has been life altering for some.
Examples of E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries
One of these serious cases involved a woman in California who was injured by her E-Cigarette in 2013, when she wasn’t even using it. Rather, the E-Cigarette was charging in her vehicle. When it exploded, she suffered serious burns and was able to successfully sue the distributor for nearly $2 million. Another victim was a man in Florida who was vaping (using) his E-Cigarette when it exploded in 2015, resulting in severe injuries to his face, especially his mouth. His injuries were so severe, that he had to be air lifted to the nearest burn unit.
E-Cigarettes Pose a Risk to Small Children
While it is now clear that actual explosions are a risk of E-Cigarette use, there are other hazards to be aware of as well. For example, the cartridges used in E-Cigarettes are what contains the liquid with the nicotine inside. These cartridges are typically flavored, and come in a wide variety of flavors that are not just tasty to adults. More than 37 hundred children drank or were otherwise exposed to nicotine in liquid form in 2014.
So, what happens if a small child gets hold of the seemingly innocent E-Cigarette device – or even just the liquid filled cartridge? In the worst case scenarios, children have died from this nicotine exposure. It only takes one teaspoon of nicotine liquid to kill a small child, and this happened to an 18 month old baby in New York. In less tragic circumstances, you may still find your child in the ER or ICU, recovering from a nearly lethal amount of nicotine exposure.
Safer Alternatives to Quit Smoking
If you are among those who have chosen E-Cigarettes to help you quit smoking and are now rethinking the safety of doing so, there are other, safer options. The American Cancer Society provides resources and information on methods that have helped many people to successfully quit smoking, without using the hazardous E-Cigarette option.
Have You Been Injured By a Malfunctioning E-Cigarette?
If your E-Cigarette exploded and caused you to suffer injuries, then you may have a personal injury claim or defective product claim against the manufacturer or the distributor. The experienced Greenville, South Carolina personal injury attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. are here to help. We have the experience and the understanding that you need to pursue this relatively new, yet ever increasing form of personal injury claim and to succeed in obtaining the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.