Electronic cigarettes are being marketed to the general public as the “safe” new alternative to traditional cigarettes. Even in the midst of controversial debates about their potential risks and benefits, their popularity continues to skyrocket. The e-cigarette is a lithium-ion battery-powered device that mimics traditional smoking without the toxic products of tobacco combustion. In contrast to conventional cigarettes, e-cigs do not burn tobacco, produce ash, smoke, or tar. However, they also do something regular cigarettes don’t….Explode!
In order to supply power to the portable e-cigarette, lithium-ion batteries are used. Although a widely used power source, these batteries are composed of highly flammable and combustible liquids. The battery is installed at the weakest part of the e-cigarette and when pressure increases, the device ruptures and parts can be propelled through the air with great force. This explosion is characterized by flames, smoke, loud noises, flashing light, and the destruction of whatever object is near, human beings included.
The use of non-approved power adapters to charge the lithium-ion battery can also lead to a fire or explosion. One should always use the charging appliance that is provided by the manufacturer and carefully follow the instructions for connecting the device to a power outlet. A common misconception is that because the e-cig USB port is compatible with other electronics, it is safe to use those other ports to charge the e-cig. An e-cigarette should never be plugged into a standard USB port.
Lithium-ion battery failure, insufficient warnings, and faulty production are all causes of e-cigarette explosions, battery failure while charging being the most common of all. While most explosions result only in minor damages, cases involving significant burns and death have occurred. Our Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers recognize the dangers that electronic cigarettes can pose, which is why we encourage you to only use the charging appliance provided by the manufacturer and to carefully follow all the instructions regarding the use and storage of your device.