E-cigarettes, also known as “e-cigs” and vape pens, are devices that allow users to generate a vapor that then delivers nicotine to the lungs. Used as a substitute for cigarettes, these e-cigarettes are growing more and more popular. However, substantial injuries resulting from “vaping” or e-cigarette usage are on the rise.
E-cigarettes became popular a few years ago as an alternative to cigarettes. There are currently no government regulations regarding these products to ensure product safety. In fact, no product design or safety testing have ever occurred with respect to any of these types of products.
Most e-cigarette devices are made in China or overseas where few if any, quality control standards exist. Additionally, there are a plethora of counterfeit vape batteries and vape pens manufactured overseas with even less quality control than those found in China. Consequently, defective e-cigarettes and vape batteries are commonplace and known to overheat and explode causing serious injuries.
Many users of e-cigarettes are younger people and, with no legal requirements to protect their safety, these dangerous and defective products are saturating the marketplace, causing severe, catastrophic, and permanent injuries.
While reports vary, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that hundreds of e-cigarette explosions have occurred, and the number is rising. The most common scenarios of e-cigarette explosions include:
- Exploding while in use
- Overheating and exploding while being charged
- Exploding during transport (in pockets, purses, etc.)
- Exploding spare batteries during transport
When an e-cigarette or vape battery explodes, the reason is usually due to a battery defect. If a battery is drained too rapidly, subjected to a short circuit, or overcharged, it may overheat and cause an explosion.
Even more dangerous is if a lithium-ion battery overheats. In the case of a lithium-ion battery overheating, it will begin to vent a hot gas which builds up pressure inside of the e-cigarette casing causing an explosion. The force behind an e-cigarette explosion creates a violent reaction, much like a pipe bomb or a rocket.