An e-cigarette exploded in the mouth of an Oklahoma man during use, seriously injuring him. The Muskogee man’s lawyer said, “Warnings about these products are few and far between. In our experience, even retailers aren’t advising customers about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”
The plaintiff claims that the retailer who sold him the e-cigarette was negligent in giving him no warning of potential explosions. The victim was using the e-cigarette, shortly after purchasing the device, when it exploded leaving him with permanent injuries that included visual impairment and facials burns. The man has filed a lawsuit and is seeking financial compensation for damages, Fox23.com reports.
E-cigarette explosions have occurred an estimated 200 times since August of 2009 and appear to be on the rise, according to TheProductLawyers.com. E-cigarettes use a common lithium-ion battery called the 18650, slightly larger than an AA battery. These batteries are often used for power tools and laptops and are manufactured by established companies such as Duracell as well as unfamiliar brands made in China. Loose batteries can short or discharge if terminals make contact with change, keys, or other metallic objects, safetyresearch.net reports.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported that most e-cigarette explosions were caused while the lithium-ion battery was charging and had an overload of voltage. In a few of the cases, the overload happened when plugged in a car outlet, or a computer USB port.
In October 2015 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued an interim rule prohibiting e-cigarettes in checked baggage and prohibiting charging them while on board an aircraft. E-cigarettes were recognized as an “emerging safety risk,” reports safetyresearch.net.
On June 4, 2016, a Tustin man was taken to a local hospital after suffering severe burns from his e-cigarette while using it. As e-cigarettes continue to grow in popularity, the reports of explosions and resulting injuries will most likely continue to increase.