E-cigarettes were first introduced in the U.S. in 2007 as a “healthy” alternative to traditional smoking tobacco cigarettes. The popularity of vaping has a resulted in a huge U.S. market, with more than 10% of Americans using the smokeless cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices which transform liquid nicotine into a mist or vapor to be inhaled by the user. Although there are claims the cigarettes do not contain harmful chemicals such as carbon dioxide or tar found in traditional cigarettes, they do contain nicotine – the most addictive component of tobacco. Common ingredients are nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, and a wide variety of flavorings.
Over the past few years, concerns about health and safety around the use of the devices have begun slowing down growth in the market. Health problems such as coughing, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, Popcorn Lung, Asthma, and Chronic Bronchitis are all suspected to be linked with e-cigarette use.
Health considerations aside, use of e-cigarettes has been regarded as potentially hazardous due to a risk of the devices exploding. As of July 2016, there were 183 reported cases of e-cigarettes catching fire or exploding, most of which occurred while the devices were either in use or charging.
E-cigarettes are powered by lithium-based batteries and are charged similarly to cell phone batteries. Although many other devices such as tablets, laptops, and cellphones use lithium-ion batteries, the U.S. Fire Administration has reported the shape and structure of e-cigarettes make them more likely to catch fire or explode when the battery malfunctions.
Poorly manufactured batteries and improperly charged batteries (i.e. using a mismatched charging device) are commonly cited in cases of battery explosion. The electrolyte solution contained within the battery can become flammable if overheated. Because the container within the device is cylindrical in shape, the e-cigarette can explode and be propelled forward with forces similar to a bullet or small rocket.
Early reports of e-cigarette explosions indicated few injuries were sustained. However, with developments in e-cig technology and the use of mods with removable batteries, e-cigarette explosions are becoming increasingly more dangerous, causing injury to people, animals, and/or property.
Explosion often occurs while the devices are being held, smoked or contained in a pocket, potentially causing damage to the face, hands and legs. Reported injuries have included burns, bone fractures, holes in the mouth/tongue, lost teeth, paralysis caused by fractured vertebrae, vision damage, disfigurement and even death.
Personal injury lawsuits filed against e-cigarette companies have already begun coming forward. In 2015, a woman from California was awarded $1.9 million dollars after suffering second-degree burns to her legs, buttocks, and hand. Her e-cigarette had exploded in her vehicle while she was charging it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on e-cigarette companies and recently finalized extensive regulations around the products. Implementation has already been initiated.
If you, a loved one, friend, neighbor, colleague or client has been injured as a result of an e-cigarette, please contact our Florida personal injury lawyers at 561-655-1990 or chat with us at www.ForYourRights.com. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
Our attorneys represent individuals and families throughout South Florida with offices in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Port St. Lucie.
Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.
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