In recent years, electronic cigarettes have surged in popularity across the United States. Many smokers cite to e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Others favor its lack of odor, convenience, and overall better economic value. According to the Center on Disease Control, approximately 3.7 percent of adults regularly use e-cigarettes, but the usage rate is definitely higher amongst younger crowds. Over 21 percent of adults between 18-24 years old have tried an e-cigarette in their lifetime.
Despite growing support for e-cigs, there are still major safety concerns. The Federal Emergency Management Agency identified 25 cases of electronic cigarette fires and explosions between 2009-2014. These incidents have resulted in serious injuries such as severe burns, facial fractures, and broken necks.
Electronic cigarettes contain a small lithium-ion battery that heats the aerosol cartridge to release vapor. When the battery is damaged or short-circuited, it can easily overheat and catch fire. Extremes in temperature can also cause safety hazards. Statistics on e-cigarette-related accidents show that:
The FDA is currently working to improve regulations and safeguards pertaining to e-cigarette use. Some reports suggest that models with a detachable battery are the safest option. However, you may want to take the following precautions when handling e-cigs:
Always purchase your e-cig or vape pen from a reputable manufacturer. There is a huge market for counterfeit electronic products, so you need to make sure that a brand is legitimate. Cheaper parts (especially batteries) are often poorly made, and can result in damage.
If your charger or power adapter breaks, get a replacement from the original manufacturer. Plugging an e-cigarette into a USB port or power adapter not supplied by the manufacturer is not recommended.
Do not attempt to plug your e-cigarette into computers or USB-capable devices. Incompatible charging systems are major causes of battery-related fires.
Never charge your e-cigarette device while you are not home or asleep. Leaving your battery plugged in and unattended for long periods of time can lead to over-charging.
Avoid charging or storing an electronic cigarette around flammable objects such as papers, bedding, or clothing.
While electronic cigarette explosions are rare, they can happen to anyone. A sudden accident can leave you permanently disfigured or scarred. You may also be forced to take time off work to recover from injuries. Luckily, product liability laws enable you to seek compensation for damages when you are hurt in an e-cigarette-related incident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you prepare documents of proof, and file a legal claim against the liable manufacturer.
When you are injured in the Chicago-area, the dedicated team of Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are here to provide the support you need. Our attorneys have decades of experience in handling product liability cases in Illinois courts. You can receive a free, no-obligations case assessment today by contacting Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.