When e-cigarettes first hit the market, they seemed like a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Unlike cigarette smoking, in many cases, vaping is odorless, which allows it to be done indoors. However, as great as that sounds, time has revealed that E-cigs are not as safe as we were led to believe.
Over the past few years, E-cig lithium battery explosions have been popping up nationwide, with some members of the vaping community suffering serious injuries as a result.
Is It Safe to Vape?
Several E-cig lithium battery explosions have made the news recently, including:
- Earlier this month, Popular Mechanics posted an article on its website featuring security camera footage of an E-cig exploding in a man’s jacket pocket. The man suffered severe burns on his abdomen.
- KAPP-TV featured a story in October about a flight that had to be delayed because of an E-cig explosion. Reportedly, an electronic cigarette connected to a charger was in a passenger’s checked baggage aboard a flight when it exploded, leading to the passenger’s bag catching fire. Firefighters put out the fire, and the man who owned the baggage was removed from the plane to identify his bag. The FAA prohibits E-cigs from being carried in checked baggage.
- Another disturbing case involved a story earlier this year, which was reported by WNEP-TV. According to the report, that a man in Albany, New York had an E-cigarette explode while he was smoking it. The explosion knocked out some of his teeth, left a hole in his tongue and burned his hands.
These are just a few of the incidents involving E-cig lithium battery explosions. The reason behind these explosions is the lithium-ion batteries used in electronic cigarettes. Generally, lithium-ion batteries are safe. However, in certain situations, such as the pressurized baggage compartment of an airplane they can become a fire risk. In addition, due to the cylindrical design of electronic cigarettes, the devices’ end points are structurally weak, which increases the risk of explosions. Other reasons behind these types of explosions include overheating issues. Lithium-ion batteries can overheat if exposed to outside heating sources for too long, including direct sunlight. They can also overheat due to a short circuit or if they are overcharged.
Recently, a Spokane, Washington woman filed a product liability claim against an E-cig manufacturer after an E-cigarette exploded while she was vaping. The explosion knocked out some of her teeth, burned the roof of her mouth as well as her face, her neck, her chest and the inside of her nose. In her suit, she is claiming that the lithium-ion battery in the E-cig she was using is defective and shouldn’t be on the market. The lawsuit also says that defective electronic cigarettes are able to make into the hands of the public because the E-cig industry is virtually unregulated and not enough testing of the devices is done.