E-cigarettes have become a popular alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. They do not burn tobacco and cause less inhalation of tar and carbon monoxide than smoking nicotine cigarettes. Instead of tobacco, the product vaporizes a flavored liquid through a handheld electronic device. The common term for its use is called “vaping” and has become more and more popular across the U.S. E-cigarettes do not solve all dangers of smoking, so health concerns remain. And unfortunately, there have been many reports of e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries in the news lately.
Since 2009, the FDA has reported 92 incidents of exploding e-cigarettes. Of the 92 incidents, 47 involved serious injuries. Multiple instances have been reported in recent months, so we’re urging readers to check their devices to make sure they are not at risk.
A man from Queens, New York recently suffered extensive third-degree burns due to an e-cigarette exploding in his pocket. The incident happened on November 23 while working at a wine shop at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Surveillance footage shows the man standing at the counter speaking to a co-worker, when suddenly sparks begin flying from inside his pants pocket. The man was faced with three hours of skin graft surgery to repair severe burns to his leg and hand. The full procedure is ongoing, as these types of surgeries are complicated and can easily go awry. The victim also faces permanent scarring and ongoing pain. The vape device that exploded in his pocket was a Wismec Reuleaux RX200.
Even more recently, two men in Florida filed lawsuits due to injuries sustained from e-cigarettes. In separate incidents, both men suffered from serious burns due to vape explosions. The first victim claims to have been burned while driving, causing severe burns to his leg. The second victim suffered from an explosion in his mouth, which led to extensive injuries to his mouth, teeth, and gums.
These spontaneous fires have been linked to an e-cigarette’s lithium battery and improper ventilation. This can cause pressure to build up, which can ultimately lead to explosions.
Although many questions remain in these situations, we foresee additional lawsuits in the future. Any type of defect in devices made available to consumers can be traced back to the manufacturer, so they would be held liable to some degree. Jones & Swanson is investigating these types of e-cigarette burn injury cases and we urge anyone who has experienced a similar incident to contact our firm for a consultation free of charge. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 770-427-5498.