For decades, the public has been aware of the significant health implications of smoking cigarettes, so consumers were thrilled when technology was able to offer an alternative through e-cigarettes. The U.S. Fire Administration defines an e-cigarette as a battery-operated device that emulates the sensation of smoking tobacco by producing a vapor that resembles smoke. The unit incorporates an electric heating element, often powered by a lithium-ion battery, that heats a liquid solution and converts it into a nicotine-containing aerosol. While e-cigs allow smokers to avoid the toxins of traditional cigarettes, including tar, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde, they are not without their own hazards. If you currently use e-cigarettes or personal vaporizers, here is what you need to know.
How E-Cigarettes Cause Burns
A report released by the US National Institutes of Health in August 2017 identified explosions as the leading cause of burn injuries from e-cigarettes. The underlying study assessed 30 patients that suffered burns through use of an e-cig; an explosion was blamed as the inciting event in 87 percent of the cases. The explosions and resulting injuries occurred in different scenarios.
- A total of 10 victims reported that attire ignited due to the explosion of a disconnected battery carried on his or her person.
- In 16 of the 30 cases, the fully assembled e-cigarette ignited. Of these incidents, seven explosions occurred while the device was idle and being carried by the user in a pocket. Nine victims suffered injuries due to an explosion that occurred during usage.
- For victims who reported that the explosion occurred when the e-cigarette was idle, burns to the thighs, hands, and genitalia were the most common injuries. Victims who were injured while actually using these devices suffered burns to the mouth and face due to the close proximity.
Preventing Burn Injuries from E-Cigs
As governmental agencies step up their efforts to regulate e-cigarettes and the lithium-ion batteries that power them, there are some ways you can protect yourself.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, charging, and replacing parts of an e-cig.
- Never use an off-brand appliance to charge an e-cigarette.
- If you decide to purchase a spare battery, purchase from the same company that manufacturers the e-cigarette or one that is approved by the manufacturer.
- Many e-cig devices and chargers appear to be a standard USB connection. Do not plug a device or charger into a standard USB port unless specifically instructed.
- Responsible e-cig and battery manufacturers are working to eliminate the lithium-ion battery defects. Do your research to find out if the makers of your e-cigarette or battery are self-regulating to ensure your safety.
Consult with an Experienced Atlanta Burn Injury Lawyer About E-Cigarette Burns and Injuries
Regulation of the e-cigarette industry is in its infancy, but you still may have a claim against a manufacturer if you suffer burn injuries due to an exploding e-cig device or battery. For more information, please contact the e-cigarette injury lawyers of Walker Morgan to schedule a case assessment. We have assisted many burn injury victims in recovering compensation for their losses, and we can explain your legal options.