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History and Dangers of E-Cigarettes and Vape Pens

— October 4, 2019

E-cigarettes exploding warrants a product liability lawsuit. If you have been injured as a result of this device, speak with a lawyer at your earliest convenience.

E-cigarettes have grown increasingly popular over the last few years. With more and more people opting to quit smoking regular cigarettes, it’s not surprising that they are switching to electronic cigarettes. However, these devices carry certain risks. One of the biggest dangers that can occur with e-cigarettes is that they can explode. If you suffer injuries as a result of this problem, you should reach out to a skilled e-cigarette explosion attorney.

E-Cigarettes and Their History

Electronic cigarettes first came to the United States market in 2007. Since then, they have sold in huge quantities and have become extremely popular as a good alternative for individuals who are looking to quit smoking regular cigarettes or for those who want to eventually quit altogether. At this point in time, the e-cigarette market is now at around $1.5 billion. Because they are electronic, they are just the same as any other electronic device, meaning they can malfunction without warning. Explosions are among the various ways they can malfunction.

Generally speaking, e-cigarettes are made up of three parts: the cartridge where liquid nicotine is stored, the atomizer, which heats it and the battery. The battery is usually the component that is the most likely to lead to an e-cigarette exploding, which can occur when it becomes overheated.

Why Do E-Cigarettes Explode?

According to FEMA, around 80 percent of explosions involving e-cigarettes occur while the device is being charged. When this happens, it is usually due to a third-party charger being used instead of the official one that sold with the e-cigarette.

At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that not all e-cigarette explosions occur as a result of charging with a third-party charger or charging, in general. In around 12 percent of all e-cigarette explosions occurred while the device was stored or while it was actually being used. Still, the battery, which is lithium-ion, is the main culprit as it contains a lot of power within a very small space.

However, the American Journal of Medical Case Reports contains a study that stated that there was no specific reason found for e-cigarette explosions that occur while the device is in the individual’s pocket.

Vape pen sticking out of pocket of woman’s jeans; image by Maria Badasian, via
Vape pen sticking out of pocket of woman’s jeans; image by Maria Badasian, via

Types of E-Cigarettes That Explode

It is becoming more common for news of exploding e-cigarettes to be reported as more and more incidents occur. However, when there are reports made, the specific brands affected by this issue are often left unmentioned. Regardless, research has discovered that there are a few factors all exploding e-cigarettes share in common.

It is already common knowledge that the batteries found in e-cigarettes are the chief culprit for the devices exploding. Certain models of e-cigarettes tend to be more dangerous than others. The varieties that include a MOD, a personal vaporizer, that disconnects from the e-cigarette to allow it to be charged separately from the atomizer are safer than their counterparts. They allow the battery to be removed from the rest of the device, so the heating element is kept apart from the rest of the components. Vape pens typically have a USB port right on the device itself, which means when it needs charging, the heating portion is directly next to the battery, which can lead to overheating. There is a definitive risk of explosion that can lead to injuries.

Although models that include a MOD are generally safer, they still pose some risk to the user. If the battery includes a wrapper that can put pressure on the battery that can lead to a rip, tear or some other weakness, it can potentially lead to a dangerous situation.

Many users also don’t realize that placing their e-cigarette in their pocket or purse can result in danger and injuries. People don’t think that anything can happen if the gadget is not in use or plugged in for charging. However, e-cigarettes still pose a significant risk of exploding even while in someone’s pocket or bag.

Public Safety Concerns

As a result of these inherent risks, plus the ever-growing market for e-cigarettes, there is, naturally, a huge concern for public safety. While there is no certainty that someone will suffer injuries as a result of using the devices, there is still a high risk of danger to anyone who regularly uses them. There is also confusion about which manufacturers are riskier than others. As a result, regulators may not know which e-cigarette models might pose more danger.

These devices are manufactured at high speeds so as to hit the market to meet the high demands for them. The end result is that they are on the market before anyone realizes the potential danger they pose to users. At that point, it’s too late and people are at risk for serious injury. Users can take some precautions to lower their risk, but there is no definite way to avoid an e-cigarette explosion.

E-cigarettes exploding warrants a product liability lawsuit. If you have been injured as a result of this device, speak with a lawyer at your earliest convenience.

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