/ Blog/ E-Cigarettes: Explosions and Personal Injuries
E-cigarettes have been adopted by millions of users across the world. They are designed to deliver fewer carcinogens to the body by releasing vapor instead of secondhand smoke. However, there have been many reports of injuries when e-cigarettes have exploded during use. One of the most recent victims was a thirteen-year-old girl in Utah. She was left burned and bloodied after using her brother’s e-cigarette.
That girl was reported to be healing well and would not need reconstructive surgery.
In January, a driver lost control of his semi-truck when an e-cigarette exploded in his face while he was driving on I-65. Fortunately, when his truck veered off the road there were no other vehicles around. These accidents prompted the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a warning urging drivers to use caution with these devices, especially when loading or hauling dangerous materials.
Many of the problems are believed to be the lithium-ion batteries used in e-cigarette devices. If this problem sounds familiar, that’s because lithium-ion battery problems were behind the exploding hoverboards that became last Christmas’ most dangerous toy. Hoverboards have been blamed for several house fires. At least one house fire is being attributed to an e-cigarette exploding while being left to charge.
The problem hasn’t come out of nowhere. In 2014, the US Fire Administration issued a report on e-cigarette explosions. It noted that they were different from similar devices because the thin design and battery placement constraints of e-cigarettes sets them up to act “like a bullet or small rocket” when batteries explode.
When you buy a product and use it as intended, you expect it to work as advertised and to operate safely. A product should not fail when used properly. You don’t expect it to cause damage or injury during normal use. You also expect the manufacturer to take responsibility and do what’s necessary to repair any damage the product caused and, if someone was injured, to cover any medical costs and related expenses.
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