E-Cigarettes and Vape Pens
E-Cigarettes Linked to Adverse Health Outcomes, Burns, and Death
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, and vape pens are battery powered devices which simulate tobacco smoking and provide users with nicotine.
These electronic devices have become increasingly popular over recent years, even among people who do not smoke, as they provide different flavors and give users a different experience than they would get from smoking a normal cigarette.
Often marketed as a safer, cleaner alternative to traditional smoking, the health effects of the vapor and the danger of nicotine overdose by ingestion or dermal contact with the liquid used in electronic cigarettes are the subject of ongoing review by various agencies. Additionally, the defects and malfunctions in the electronic cigarettes themselves have been linked to a number of explosions and fires, resulting in least one death.
Nearly 200 E-Cigarette Explosions and Fires Reported
Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2016, there were 195 reports of electronic cigarettes exploding and/or causing fires. In 133 of those reports (68%), there were acute injuries sustained from the explosions and fires.
The first death to be linked to such an incident occurred in May, 2018.
Of the incidents reported between 2009 and 2016:
- 61 incidents occurred while either the device or spare batteries for the device were in a pocket.
- 60 incidents occurred while the device was being used.
- 48 incidents occurred while the battery in the device was being charged.
- 18 incidents occurred while the device or battery was stored.
- In seven incidents, it is not reported whether the e-cigarette was in use, stored, or being charged.
- One incident occurred during transportation on a cargo aircraft.
E-Cigarette Injuries Often Involve Severe Burns, Facial Injuries, and Amputation
E-cigarette explosions and fires have been linked to 38 cases of severe injury to an individual. In all of these cases, the victim required hospitalization. Injuries reported include:
- Loss of a body part
- 3rd degree burns
- Facial injuries
Another eight victims suffered moderate injuries, which were defined as persons requiring treatment in the emergency. Injuries included:
- Smoke inhalation
- 2nd degree burns
- Lacerations requiring stitches.
Fifteen individuals suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation, minor lacerations, or 1st degree burns. Emergency room treatment may or may not have been provided.
How Are E-Cigarettes Regulated?
The regulatory situation related to e-cigarettes varies by jurisdiction and is rapidly changing. On May 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule that brought e-cigarettes under the FDA’s tobacco product authority. With this, the FDA now regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of e-cigarettes.
The FDA has extended the compliance deadline until August 10, 2017.
The WHO has proposed that member states adopt stringent controls on e-cigarettes. The proposal is limited to the potential health effects of e-cigarettes, and does not include language addressing the electronic devices themselves.
American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation reports that 12 states and 615 local jurisdictions have laws restricting e-cigarette use in smoke-free venues; 15 states and 503 local jurisdictions have laws that restrict e-cigarette use in other venues.
Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or illness due electronic cigarettes are vape pens, contact Thomas J. Henry. Over two decades of experience handling a multitude of defective product cases and extensive legal and financial resources allow us to provide our clients with truly dynamic legal representation. Thomas J. Henry has a proven track record of achieving real results for clients devastated by recalled products.
Let us help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Contact us today for a free case review.