Vaping’s been the rage for the past few years, with new outlets seeming to open up daily. Also known as e-cigarettes, vaping devices use a battery to engage a heating coil, which heats liquid nicotine and produces a vapor that users can inhale. It appears, though, that the detrimental effects of nicotine are not the only risk associated with electronic cigarettes.
Personal injury attorneys have seen a dramatic increase in the number of claims involving injuries caused by e-cigarettes. The vast majority of those claims involve some type of burns, both minor and catastrophic. A Florida man sustained serious burns when an electronic cigarette exploded in his face this year. Medical professionals say he also ingested a piece of the e-cigarette, which caused internal as well as external burns. Doctors medically induced a coma to facilitate his recovery.
As early as 2014, manufacturers of vaping devices learned of the risk of fires tied to the product. A Phoenix resident had a fire in his bedroom when a vaping cartridge overheated while plugged into a charger. In late 2014, and again in early 2015, TSA officials had to extinguish fires caused by e-cigarettes in passenger luggage. The FAA now prohibits e-cigarettes in checked bags.
Safety officials say that lack of regulation is a principal reason for the increase in injury. They point out that most batteries used in e-cigarettes lack any type of over-current protection, a safety feature that prevents a battery from accepting further charge when it is at capacity. As a result, those batteries can overheat or blow up.
At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we have more than 60 years of experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us toll free at 888-519-6400.