Sales of E-cigarettes aka personal vaporizers have been steadily growing ever since their introduction just a few years ago. They were invented in 2003 and went mainstream in 2007. Most vapors choose vaping in an attempt to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, as it is considered the lesser of the two evils. But is vaping really that harmless as vaping advocates claim it to be? Unfortunately, we don’t have enough data at the moment to verify their claim and a lot of research is still needed to conclude anything.
What makes e-cigarettes dangerous?
We all know that tobacco cigarettes are very dangerous, but e-cigarette pens have a whole other set of dangers associated with them. Since e-cigarettes use Li-ion batteries to produce vapor by burning e-juice aka eliquid, there is always risk of an explosion. Considering vaping devices are mostly Chinese products, we cannot always be sure if the manufacturer had a proper quality assurance system in place. The skepticism only grows when we take into account the history of products coming from China. Most manufacturers try to cut every corner to reduce costs, as the main reason people find Chinese brands interesting is the price they offer.
What can we do if something goes wrong?
If you or your loved one has suffered a permanent/serious injury caused by a vape cigarette explosion, you might have a potential claim against the manufacturers, including the individual manufacturers for the device, battery and other parts. The financial damage compensation you can sue a manufacturer for includes:
- The pain and suffering you experienced
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages and quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Other losses that result from a serious or permanent injury
Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Morehead, P.A. specializes in wrongful death and personal injury claims. We can help clients who suffered permanent or serious injuries due to vape devices that exploded. Any legal suit can be a lengthy, complex and costly endeavor. One would need a lot of experience, financial capability and other resources to challenge a large-scale manufacturer. Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Morehead, P.A. can help you make the right decision and has a history of achieving multi-million dollar settlements on our client’s behalf.
Multiple clients have filed lawsuits against vape stores and device manufacturers for causing serious injuries in different states, including Florida, New York and California. The lawsuits involved several Chinese companies, including Kangertech, Sigelei and iPV Technology Co. Such cases can be more complex than other injury cases as they might involve multiple companies that manufacture different parts used in vaping devices. Although most vape device explosions are caused by bad batteries and poor circuit design, internal leaking and cracked ejuice tanks also have the potential of wreaking havoc.
How frequent are e-cigarette explosions?
Although the total number of reported incidents of exploding e-cigarettes is just a tiny fraction of all the users, it can happen to anyone if proper care is not taken. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery issues? If a top-end device like Note 7 can cause such issues, we need to be careful with cheap Chinese products too. You can easily find the news and videos about exploding e-cigarettes, causing permanent injuries, severe burns, broken teeth or even paralysis over the internet, but are e-cigarettes really that unsafe?
A total of 25 incidents were reported from 2009 to 2014, causing nine injuries (two serious injuries) and no deaths. That’s the reason the US Department of Transportation and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned the use of e-cigarettes in airplanes. Not only vaping devices have the potential to explode while charging or vaping, they can also catch fire in checked bags, exposing the flight to fire hazards.
Effective since August 8, 2016, FDA regulations are in place to oversee manufacturing, packaging, import, advertisement and distribution of e-cigarettes. The sale of vaping devices is not allowed to children under 18 years of age, and the regulations require manufacturers to clearly post warning statements on the advertisement and packaging. Although the regulations cover core components used in a vaping device, the accessories are excluded. The components covered by the regulations include:
- E-liquid containers
- Cartomizers and clearomizers
- Digital display/lights
- Drip tips
- Tank systems
What can we do to prevent vape explosions?
The vaping industry has come a long way in recent years and has improved a lot in terms of safety measures. But a risk of an explosion always lurks in the background as vaping devices use batteries and a coil that resists current to turn eliquid into vapor. It’s also worth mentioning that not all incidents are related to poor manufacturing or design. Users are also responsible for making sure they understand what they are doing and are following instructions provided by the manufacturer. Many vapors customize their devices and try to mix-and-match different components, which can lead to disasters if you don’t know what you are doing.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is also true for vaping devices. Although most reported incidents of exploding involved a box-mod or pen-type e-cigarettes, it can happen with any battery-powered device if proper care is not taken while charging and operating. Most incidents happened during charging or using the device and were mostly a result of a bad battery or circuitry. That’s why it’s highly recommended to use batteries from reputed manufacturers such as Samsung and LG, and go for device manufacturers that are certified such as CE, RoHS etc.
If you find yourself involved in a situation with an exploding cell phone like a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, an exploding vapor pen, or a tobacco related injury, we would love to speak with you about your legal rights and options for gaining compensation. Please do not hesitate to contact us today.