The U.S. Navy has banned vaping throughout its fleet after multiple reports of explosions, injuries to sailors and damage to property caused by e-cigarettes and vaporizers. According to a report in The Hill, a press release issued by the Navy stated that fleet commanders implemented this policy to “protect the safety and welfare of sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment.” The press release also stated that so far, multiple sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices including first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement.
Ban to Become Effective in May
The ban, which will go into effect May 14, covers the use, possession, storage and charging of e-cigarettes aboard any of the Navy’s ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment. It applies to sailors, Marines, Military Sealift Command civilians, and any personnel working or visiting those units. The ban will remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis of these devices, officials said.
Sailors in bases onshore will be allowed to use e-cigarettes, but only in designated areas. The Naval Safety Center reported that between October 2015 and June 2016, there were 15 incidents involving e-cigarettes that injured sailors, ignited fires, or damaged property. In two of the incidents, the device was in the sailor’s mouth, causing severe facial and dental injuries.
The Dangers of E-Cigarettes
By now, we’ve all heard the hazards posed by e-cigarettes and vaporizers that are powered by lithium-ion batteries. We’ve heard of them exploding not just while charging, but when they are stored in pockets, purses, backpacks, and even when they are in use. The injuries reported, just as in the case of these sailors, have been devastating. Facial and dental injuries are common as are lacerations, severe burns, scarring, and disfigurement.
If you or a loved one has been injured by one of these devices, it is important that you get prompt medical attention and treatment. Preserve what is left of the device so an expert can examine it for evidence of defects and malfunctions. A number of these batteries and devices are made with substandard parts and in facilities that lack quality control.
You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages from a number of parties including but not limited to manufacturers, retailers, distributors, etc. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.