Flammable E-Cigarettes pose Risk to Consumers


E-Cigarettes are a popular smoking alternative used by over 2.5 million Americans. They are regarded as a safe way to smoke among adults and teens. E-cigarettes or "vape pens" went on the market in 2007 and have boomed in popularity. Like most electronic devices, these are powered by accident-prone lithium ion batteries found in laptops, cameras, and explosive Samsung phones. While the number of e-cigarettes that have injured users through an explosion or by starting a fire are under-reported, such incidents are on the rise as the smoking alternative continues to grow in popularity.

How can an e-cigarette explode?

At least 200 e-cigarettes around the world have exploded or caught fire in the nearly 10 years they have been available to the public. This number is likely much higher as many instances go unreported, yet compared to many other devices such incidents are pretty rare in e-cigarettes when you consider just how many people use them worldwide. All it takes for a lithium-ion battery to explode or catch fire is for the battery to overheat. These batteries are prone to overheating in extreme temperatures and when being overcharged.

When is an e-cigarette likely at risk?

Over 80% of e-cigarette incidents occur while the device is charging. Lithium-ion batteries contain flammable electrolytes that can ignite a fire when the battery is overheated. Devices can overheat by being exposed to extreme temperatures, but usually it is from being charged for too long or from using an unapproved charger. Knockoff chargers that can be cheap to purchase are a serious safety concern.

A minority of incidents occur when the e-cigarette is in use. When this happens, severe injuries are common, particularly severe burns. A Colorado man endured a broken neck, facial burns and fractures, and lost several teeth. A California teen suffered from severe burns when an e-cigarette caught fire while in his pocket.

E-cigarettes vary widely in quality. A quality e-cigarette is much less likely to pose a threat than one made out of cheap or flimsy components. If an e-cigarette feels cheap, it most likely is and will be more likely to overheat or short circuit.

Modifying a vape pen is also a common practice among users that can lead to the device developing a higher risk of flammability. Pens that have been modified may require special batteries.

For safe vaping, it's wise to never leave a charging e-cigarette unattended and to always use the approved charger. It's also important to buy reputable brands. If you have been injured by an e-cigarette in New Jersey, attorney James Vasquez can help you with your personal injury claim. The Law Offices of James Vasquez, PC specializes in all types of personal injury cases. Call (862) 247-8711.