Marketed as a safe alternative to regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes have become extremely popular with today’s youth and anyone who is trying to cut back on smoking. The sudden popularity has also brought with it questions regarding the product’s safety. As it turns out, nicotine is not the only potential danger posed to e-cig users.
What Are They?
These electronic devices use vaporized liquid that contains nicotine — in a variety of flavors — to produce a similar sensation to that of smoking. They are battery operated and each device has a heating element to vaporize the liquid. Until recently, there were no regulations that made sure these devices were safe or constructed carefully, and unfortunately over the years, there have been plenty of complaints regarding injuries. The battery has been reportedly placed too close to the heating mechanism, creating a risk of injury to the user and other nearby individuals.
How Are They Dangerous?
When the battery is too close to the heating mechanism, it can cause the device to explode, oftentimes with the battery pushing out of the device in a missile-like manner. The explosion has caused numerous people to sustain serious injuries including burns to the legs, hands, and face, depending on when the explosion happened. For instance, some people have had their e-cigarettes blow up while charging, others have exploded in the user’s pocket, and in the worst case scenario, during use. These are serious situations that can cause serious burns, possible amputation, or worse.
According to National Public Radio, e-cigarettes also have the ability to produce a high level of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Of course, because the product is marketed as a safe alternative to cigarettes, if the research is accurate regarding its ability to cause cancer, this could be damaging to the industry. There is also the concern that not much is truly known about what is in the liquid used to create the vapor and how it can affect the health of the user.
Between possible explosions, unknown chemicals, and formaldehyde, there is a lot to be worried about when it comes to e-cigarettes. There may be some comfort as the United States Food and Drug Administration has announced regulations on the product. However, until more is known, it is advisable to proceed with caution when using these e-cigarettes and to make sure nothing unhealthy is entering the body.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin, we understand the potential dangers involved with e-cigarettes and how they can harm the user. It is important to remain as safe as possible when using these electronic devices. If you have been harmed, however, you should speak with a Florida defective product attorney who can explain your rights to you. E-cigarette manufacturers have a duty to produce safe products. When they fail in this duty, they should be held fully accountable and victims should be able to seek compensation for the damages they have sustained as a result.
Call our firm today and learn more about your potential case.