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Electronic Cigarette Lawsuits Are on the Rise

Electronic cigarettes have become widely popular since they have hit the market as an alternative to standard cigarette smoking. Because e-cigarettes do not generally offend others in public spaces, people addicted to nicotine are able to enjoy their freedom of choice in smoking where other cigarettes are not allowed. Celebrities have helped e-cigarette makers market their products as “cool,” whereas tobacco cigarettes are considered taboo products for well-known actors to endorse. This has led to a boom in e-cigarette sales and use.

But as with any manmade product, these cigarettes have potential for defects that can harm users. E-cigarettes have been found to lead to explosions due to defective design of the product and how batteries power these devices. As explosions have occurred across the country and e-cigarette smokers have been injured, more and more of these injured users are turning to personal injury and product liability lawyers for help filing lawsuits against manufacturers.

There are actually multiple dangers that have caused e-cigarettes to seriously injure smokers. The battery pack attached to e-cigarette devices is the most common culprit, leading to explosions. New York, California and Florida residents are among those who have been injured in such explosions and subsequently filed lawsuits against the e-cigarette makers.

Other hazards include these explosions causing the e-cigarette to start a fire. Real damage and injury has been inflicted upon property and people near the devices when they explode. These lawsuits are expected to continue until manufacturers reengineer their products, a slow process.

What causes e-cigarettes to explode?

A Federal Emergency Management Association report clarified that the majority of e-cigarette explosions are the result of the battery being charged. Alternative chargers not sold with the original battery being charged is usually part of the explosive problem. Around 12 percent of e-cigarette combustion cases have been reported by FEMA as having occurred when the cigarettes are being charged or stored, likely due to the excessive power of lithium batteries in these small devices.

For most of the explosions, the battery seal at the end of the battery first ruptures. The pressure that is contained within the e-cigarette cylinder then builds to an excessive amount that the cylinder cannot contain, causing the cylinder to explode. This explosion is usually at one of the ends of the cylinder. The explosion can then propel the battery and container parts across the room dangerously, just as a bullet would be fired from a gun or a small rocket is launched upward.

E-cigarette users have since been warned to only use a power adapter or USB port provided with the e-cigarette product and its battery in the original packaging. It is hoped that this warning will prevent even more explosions than are continuing to be seen across the country.

Other E-Cigarette Dangers beyond Explosion

E-cigarettes are not as safe as they seem at first glance. People who smoke these devices are not smoking a healthier cigarette, instead using one with different risks and its own set of potential health and injury circumstances.

Some hazards of using e-cigarettes include:

  • Cancer:
    Cancer-causing formaldehyde is contained within the vapor of e-cigarettes at a level as much as 15 times greater than regular tobacco cigarettes, according to recent studies. Scientists have discovered that e-cigarettes contain large amounts of formaldehyde-containing chemical compounds within the vapor they produce.
  • Poisoning:
    E-cigarette smoking can poison users. A recent study reported that accidentally drinking the e-cigarette liquid is the primary form of poisoning associated with the product. But exposure of this e-cigarette liquid through inhaling resulted in about one-sixth of the poison control calls. Eye and skin exposure to e-cigarette liquid are also dangerous and can poison users. The large doses of nicotine that may be taken in through these electronic devices can also poison smokers who then suffer from symptoms like nausea and vomiting or even worse indications of poisoning, such as seizures and respiratory depression.
  • Second-Hand Emissions:
    E-cigarettes are believed to be safer for people around the smoker. This is why many venues that do not allow smoking do permit use of e-cigarettes. But this is false. Two studies have determined that formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-derived nitrosamines are all contained within e-cigarette vapor that can be taken in by people in close proximity to the product’s users. These chemical compounds are all carcinogens and can cause cancer to second-hand victims, just like tobacco cigarettes cause cancer through their smoke. Called second-hand aerosol, these emissions are not determined as safe for non-smokers to inhale by any studies.

When Injury from e-Cigarettes Occurs

If you have been injured in an e-cigarette explosion, other device malfunction or your property has been damaged due to a fire resulting from one of these smoking devices, you need an experienced product liability and personal injury attorney to help you develop your legal claim. Manufacturers can be held liable for product malfunction, just as other e-cigarette users have successfully taken the devices’ makers to court.

To discuss your case with an experienced product liability and personal injury attorney in Phoenix, call Cantor Crane at 602.254.2701 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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