The dangers of exploding e-cigarettes

As regular smoking becomes less acceptable and harder than ever to do in public, e-cigarettes are gaining in popularity like never before.

Unfortunately, e-cigs are also prone to exploding. Just recently, a 24-year-old man from Texas was seriously wounded after an exploding e-cig embedded shrapnel in his neck. He died a few days later, on Jan. 29. According to reports, the e-cig was brand new and exploded on him the very first time that he tried to use it.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported that 195 distinct explosions and fires involving e-cigs were reported in the news in this country in the seven-year period prior to 2017. At least 133 of those incidents left victims with "acute injuries." The majority of those cases are attributed to the lithium-ion batteries used to power the devices.

E-cig injuries can easily include burns to the hand, face and other vulnerable body parts if, for instance, the device happened to set itself on fire in someone's pocket. Explosions can also be forceful enough to cause dental damage and serious disfigurement. The devices pose a unique danger to consumers because of their volatile batteries and the fact that they are held directly up to consumers' faces for use.

Many of the e-cigs on the market come from shady companies in China that produce cheap knock-off products and knock-off batteries that are simply not safe. While legitimate companies are trying to combat the issue with "authentication stickers" on their batteries and products, those are virtually useless, as counterfeiters simply copy them.

E-cigs injuries -- and lawsuits -- are on the rise due to the problem. Lawsuits for injuries caused by the devices rely on product liability claims, which can be used to hold manufacturers, distributors and even retailers liable for putting an unsafe product on the market without adequate safety measures.

If you've been injured due to an e-cig or vape pen explosion, find out more about your right to the compensation you need as you recover.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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