E-cigarettes have skyrocketed in popularity since first introduced. Initially, it was believed that inhaling vapor through one of these devices was considered less harmful than smoking tobacco. Until the spring of 2016, the federal government had not participated in any kind of regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes.
However, various studies suggest these devices do, in fact, present health dangers to users. A study by the University of North Carolina suggested e-cigarettes may affect and alter a multitude of genes important for immune defense in certain cells in the respiratory tract, which likely increases the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine published in January of 2015, stated that e-cigarettes were significantly dangerous based upon the amounts of hidden formaldehyde.
On May 5, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was extending its regulatory and oversight authority to e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. As of August 2016, the FDA began to apply and enforce the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to the sale, marketing and manufacture of e-cigarettes.
However, e-cigarettes present a danger to consumers that tobacco cigarettes never presented to smokers: E-cigarettes may overheat or malfunction causing them to explode. Because e-cigarettes use lithium-ion batteries, which are capable of releasing hydrofluoric acid, a user or bystander may suffer caustic chemical skin burns if an e-cigarette explodes.
Many victims of exploding e-cigarettes suffer third-degree burns, which are the most severe type of burn and may continue to burn the skin even after the initial source of heat is removed from the injured area. It is important to know that damage from such burns may not appear immediately and if treatment is delayed, it may be less effective.
Medical attention must be sought immediately!If the chemical is absorbed into the skin, it may result in severe pain, tissue toxicity, and changes in calcium and other chemicals that have the potential to cause a heart attack.
When an e-cigarette explodes, plastic or metal pieces of it may shatter and touch the skin. Treatment for a hydrofluoric acid burn from a lithium battery typically requires the affected area be washed with water and a calcium gluconate gel. Thermal burns must be immediately soaked with cool water rather than ice or butter, which may instead damage the skin. The wound should be protected against infection and medical attention should be immediately sought.
Powell Law has litigated on behalf of those injured by the use of a product, device, or other merchandise for 110 years. If you use E-cigarettes and believe, as a result, you suffer from injury, illness, or condition, call Powell Law. Your first consultation is free. Contact us online or call (570) 961-0777.