You will be hard pressed to find someone who's never heard of an e-cig at this point.
They've been around for years now, and it seems like their popularity grows by the minute.
Some people have used them to help aid in quitting smoking altogether, while others have just replaced cigarettes with e-cigs.
Either way, your health is benefiting.
Health experts say e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than smoking.
So whether you've given up smoking entirely or just replaced it, your health thanks you.
The e-cigs eliminate the smoke from the smoking habit by using a lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge that releases an inhale-able vapor.
Seems pretty harmless, right?
You are giving up traditional cigarettes, and is 95% healthier.
So what could go wrong?
A lot actually. Even death.
The health benefits are there, but there's a risk with e-cigs that most people are unaware of.
The lithium-ion battery can explode, causing bodily harm.
That's obviously not a good thing.
Below we'll take a look at how likely your e-cig is to explode, and how to use them safely.
Table Of Contents
- How Does an E-Cig Work?
- How Dangerous Are They?
- How Likely Are They To Explode?
- How To Use Your E-Cig Safely
- Use Caution
How Does an E-Cig Work?
Most e-cigs are made up of 4 main parts: a mouthpiece or cartridge, a heating element, a rechargeable battery, and electronic circuits.
As you suck, or "puff" on the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a flavored liquid held in the mouthpiece.
Then you "vape," or inhale, the aerosol solution.
The mouthpiece is fixed to the end of the e-cig. A small cup inside of the mouthpiece holds an absorbent material drenched in the liquid solution.
You can either refill or replace the cartridge with another pre-filled cartridge when necessary.
The heating element, or atomizer, heats the liquid, causing it to vaporize. The solution is breathed in, or inhaled.
The battery powers the heating element, and is typically a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.
The sensor activates the heater when the user sucks on the device.
The solution, sometimes called the e-liquid or e-juice, is made by extracting nicotine from tobacco and mixing it with a base, usually propylene glycol, and adding flavor.
Propylene glycol is also used in inhalers to treat asthma.
There is a wide range of flavors for you to choose from. Everything from watermelon to "lava flow."
How Dangerous Are They?
That all depends on who you ask.
From a general health standpoint, they aren't dangerous at all.
However, if we're talking about their potential to explode, they can be extremely dangerous.
Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, suffered burns over 80% of his body in a fire caused by his e-cig when it exploded.
He was also killed when pieces of the e-cig were lodged into his skull during the explosion.
So for Tallmadge, his e-cig was extremely dangerous.
19-year old Alexander Shonkwiler had an e-cig battery explode in his pocket.
The explosion turned the battery into a rocket almost, burning his upper thigh.
Hannah Clarke from the UK was riding in a car when her handbag exploded.
The explosion was caused by, you guessed it, her e-cig.
"It was not very hot that early in the morning driving along and suddenly it exploded sending flames, battery acid, smoke and burning plastic all over my head," Clarke said.
So although they are healthier for you, the chance is there that they could explode in your pocket, your handbag, or your face, causing injury or death.
In case you were wondering, there are have been no incidents of traditional cigarettes exploding.
How Likely Are They To Explode?
Although the stories above are pretty frightening, they seem to be few and far between.
It is worth noting that despite the potential for danger, e-cigarettes are currently an unregulated product.
That means that right now there is no way to know exactly how many injuries they’ve caused.
However, FEMA has been gathering information, and have found 25 incidents of exploding e-cigs between 2009 and 2014.
25 cases in 6 years doesn't seem like a lot, especially when you consider that e-cigs are used by millions of people every year.
But again, you have to remember that e-cigs are unregulated, so there is no way to know how many e-cigs have exploded since they gained popularity.
How To Use Your E-Cig Safely
Since there's no way to figure the odds of whether or not your e-cig is going to explode, you should do everything in your power to be sure you use it safely.
Below is a list of things you can do to reduce the chances of your e-cig injuring you.
- Only charge them with the charger they come with
- Don't leave them on the charger overnight
- Get rid of the batteries if they start to get hot
- Don't use them while they're charging
- Do not modify products in any way
- Do not use batteries if damaged, leaking or wet and dispose of them appropriately and immediately
- Unplug them as soon as they finish charging
- Never carry e-cig batteries loose in your pocket, especially where they might come into contact with coins, keys or other metal objects
- Don’t leave it unattended while you charge it.
- Charge it on a flat surface away from anything that can catch fire. Don’t charge it on your couch or bed.
- Always use batteries recommended for your device and don’t mix and match different brands or mix old and new batteries.
- Never disable the safety features like fire button locks or vent holes.
- Protect your vape from extreme temperatures by not leaving it in direct sunlight or in a freezing car overnight.
By no means do you need to stop using your e-cig.
If you've used it to give up cigarettes, good for you, keep it up.
Just be aware of the risks.
Follow the suggestions above to make sure you stay as safe as possible.
If your e-cig has already injured you, you need to contact a lawyer.
Since this is still pretty uncharted territory, your lawyer will make sure you get the treatment and any money that is owed to you.
The lawyers at The Brown Firm have helped countless people with their personal injury claims, and they can help you as well.
If you're ready to speak to a lawyer at The Brown Firm, click the button below.