Worldwide, many people are now using E-Cigarettes as an attempt to quit or cut back smoking regular cigarettes.
It may come to a shock to you that E-Cigarettes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result of this, there are no safety checks carried out, neither are there any requirements for what substances can go into an E-Cigarette.
Despite the fact that E-Cigarettes have rapidly become popular with an estimate of 2.6 million adults in the UK using them, there is still a lot to learn about them. Tests carried out by the FDA have found that at least two leading brands of E-Cigarettes and 18 various cartridges contain nicotine, a very addictive substance, as well as cancer causing ingredients such as formaldehyde. Tests also detected levels of an ingredient used in antifreeze! The lead author and assistant scientist Thomas Sussan, from the department of environmental health sciences at John Hopkins University advised that his research suggests that E-Cigarettes contain traces of ‘free radical’ toxins in the vapour, similar to those found in cigarette smoke and are in no way a safe alternative to smoking tobacco. The vapour has been proven to cause damage to lungs and make them more prone to respiratory infections. As well as this, it isn’t known whether E-Cigarettes will encourage young people to try tobacco products which are known to cause diseases or premature death.
However studies by Public Health England have shown that E-Cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than regular cigarettes and further research by Royal College of Physicians (RCP), has backed these findings. RCP have also gone on to suggest that E-Cigarettes should be promoted as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK, as a matter of public health. With continuous research being done, there are sure to be more and more studies which will look to state the positives and negatives of using E-Cigarettes.
Stepping away from the debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of smoking E-Cigarettes, the usability of the products are proving to be a big issue as well.
There was recently a story in the news of CCTV footage capturing the moment an E-Cigarette exploded in a pocket, causing the man 2nd degree burns to his leg.
As you have probably guessed, this has not been the first time it is happened and won’t be the last. There have been a number of reported incidents of these devices exploding whilst being in use causing personal injury.
At the end of 2015, a man was left in an intensive care unit and underwent multiple surgeries after an E-Cigarette exploded in his face, causing injuries to his face, neck, hands and lungs.
In 2013, a lady was charging her E-Cigarette when it exploded leaving her 3 year old son with 1st and 2nd degree burns.
After thorough investigation from the fire department, it turns out that the reasons behind these events are due to defective lithium batteries which are usually ‘mismatched’ to the incorrect device causing them to react and ‘short circuit’ the lithium battery.
When these products are purchased from a licensed company, the packaging clearly states that the devices and hardware must not be modified. For example, they must not be used with other batteries or power cords other than the ones that are supplied. When defective batteries or hardware come in the contact with metal, whether it is a key or a coin, it may cause the user serious or deadly injuries!
Metcalfes’ personal injury team has extensive experience of claims against product liability. If you have experienced any injuries due to a defective product, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.