E-cigarettes, also called “e-cigs” or “vapes,” are relatively new products intended to replace traditional cigarettes. Since 2008, e-cigarette sales have exploded from $20 million in annual sales to a $4 billion market. Given the increasingly popularity of e-cigarettes, many companies have attempted to jump on the band wagon by releasing their own devices to capture some of the market. However, as is often the case, concerns about product safety take a back seat to the quest for big profits.
E-cigs are vaporizers that are powered by an internal battery. Instead of tobacco, e-cigs work by having a battery that powers a heating element that vaporizes a liquid containing nicotine so that a person may inhale the vapor in order to get the same effect as smoking a cigarette. However, the battery used to power an e-cig is subject to the same risks as any other type of battery: it has limits on the temperature it can withstand and power that it can safely store.
Unfortunately, many sellers and manufactures do not include battery chargers with the device when its sold, and some do not even include the battery itself. This forces the consumer to buy their own accessories, essentially mixing and matching between devices and batteries that can be incompatible and unsafe.
The results can be catastrophic. Last January, a Fort Worth, Texas man died after his e-cigarette exploded in his face. This was not an isolated incident. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that since 2009, there have been at least 195 incidents of e-cigarette devices exploding or catching fire.
Currently, there are no regulations governing the safety of the electronics or batteries contained within an e-cigarette. However, that does not mean that e-cigarette manufacturers and sellers cannot be held responsible for the dangerous devices they place into the market. A manufacturer or seller of any product, including e-cigarette devices, has a duty to ensure that they are placing a safe product into the marketplace. When they fail to do so, they can be held responsible for the injuries they cause.
Given the number of parts and components in an e-cigarette, investigating the cause of a defective device requires expertise and experience. The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have been fighting for the rights of individuals injured by defective products for decades. If you or someone you know has been injured by an e-cigarette, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.