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.
A 24-year-old Fort Worth man tragically died in a vape store parking lot this January after his vape pen exploded in his face. After the explosion, the man was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he later died.
Electronic cigarettes (commonly referred to as e-cigarettes) were designed to offer a nicotine fix without the side effects of traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, a disturbing trend has emerged involving these popular devices. Many e-cigarettes use lithium batteries due to their ability to store large amounts of energy in a compact amount of space. However, the inherent characteristics of lithium batteries can cause these devices to become a mini bomb and spontaneously explode or catch fire in your hand or pocket.
Four New Jersey residents who suffered third-degree burns when their e-cigarette batteries ignited "like a rocket" are suing the shops that sold the "defective" devices.
In December 2015, James Dardini's e-cigarette exploded a few hours after he arrived at work. Mr. Dardini, who had smoked his e-cig during his 60 mile commute, suffered burn injuries to his leg. In July 2015, James Lauria also suffered serious injuries to his mouth, face, and hand when his e-cig exploded while taking a break from his job as a concierge at the Beach House in Destin, Florida. Both men have filed suit.
While e-cigarettes have been advertised as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, recent events have shown these devices can actually be extremely dangerous. The Internet reveals several pages of headlines about e-cigarette explosions resulting in catastrophic injuries. In 2016 alone, there have been several media reported injuries attributed to e-cigarette explosions, including a truck driver suffering facial injuries when his e-cigarette exploded while driving, a woman who suffered third degree burns to her leg when her e-cigarette exploded in her pocket, and a professional soccer player who received extensive facial injuries when his e-cigarette blew up in his mouth.
Thursday, November 19, 2015, three California men filed lawsuits against e-cigarette makers, wholesalers, and retailers. Each man suffered injuries after their e-cigarettes exploded. One of the men, Vincente Garza of Bakersfield, California, lost half of his left index finger. These men are seeking damages for their injuries and hope to raise awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.