There have been countless injuries in the last few years caused by faulty e-cigarettes and vape pens, many of them involving explosion injuries. If you or someone you know has been involved in a vaping incident, contact our California e-cigarette injury lawyers for a free consultation on your case.
E-cigarette explosion victims can suffer serious and life-changing injuries. But no one should have to suffer due to the careless or reckless actions of product manufacturers. If you are injured by a defective product, such as a faulty vape pen, Bisnar Chase can help.
If you’ve been injured by an exploding e-cigarette or vape pen contact Bisnar Chase’s defective product lawyers for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation including medical bills and time off work.
What is in an E-Cigarette?
An electronic cigarette is basically a battery-powered vaporizer. The parts that make up an e-cigarette are a mouthpiece, a cartridge or tank, an atomizer, a microprocessor, a battery, and possibly an LED light on the end. The atomizer consists of a heating element that vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The e-liquid heats up to create an aerosolized vapor, which the user inhales.
The aerosol is said to provide a flavor and feel similar to the sensation from tobacco products. There are a number of variations of the device, but they are all more or less made up of the same components. The power source is the biggest component of an e-cigarette, which is most often a rechargeable lithium battery.
California Vaping Laws
Since the release of multiple reports detailing injuries from e-cigarette products, many government and public associations have called for a ban on the alternative smoking device. California has taken a strong stance against vape pens by attempting to ban e-cigarettes altogether. Thus far, this ban is still pending.
The only regulation that has been enforced on e-cigarettes is that users are to only smoke in “smoking areas.” This means that if you see a “no smoking” sign you cannot smoke in that area of the establishment.
Nine states have come to an agreement to ban vape products to be sold or used. The states that are working towards the ban of electronic cigarettes thus far include California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Utah, and Oregon.
As of 2019, the laws on smoking in California state that the legal age to vape in California is 18 years old.
E-cig sellers will face legal repercussions if they do sell to minors.
Who is likely to Smoke Electronic Cigarettes?
Since the release of e-cigarettes, there has been a huge rise in e-cigarette use among youth. Officials have stated that there had been heavy marketing campaigns targeted at youth and young adults with sweet flavors.
Many social media influencers were also used in the original marketing campaigns as a tactic used to lure in young adults and even children as customers.
E-Cigarette Explosion Cases
Data has indicated that e-cigarette smokers are putting their internal organs at risk with usage. What many e-cig users do not know is that they are also endangering their external organs. E-cigarettes with defective batteries have the potential to explode causing people to suffer serious burn injuries.
The explosions have also proven to be fatal.
Twenty-four-year-old William Brown died from an e-cigarette exploding and tearing his carotid artery. Later when Brown was rushed to the hospital it was documented that there was a piece of the vape pen wedged in his throat.
Unfortunately, Brown is not the only person to be killed or injured by a faulty vaping device.
According to Washington Post: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 cases have been reported, up from the 805 reported a week ago. Vaping-related injuries have now been reported in almost every state.”
Fatalities and injuries from e-cigarettes have continued to increase.
Common E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries
The lithium batteries and their chargers have been blamed for several explosions across the United States. Media reports tell terrifying stories of e-cigarettes that explode in users’ hands, faces, pant pockets, or even luggage.
Common types of injuries caused by these explosions involve:
- Third-degree burns
- Facial scarring
- Cracked teeth
- Injuries to eyes
The Orange County product defect law firm of Bisnar Chase is representing victims of e-cigarette injuries and is continuing to investigate cases where these devices have exploded and caused severe injuries.
Vape Pens vs. E-Cigarettes
Vape pens are a type of e-cigarette. E-cigarettes encompass a variety of devices that can include vape pens, hookah pens, or vaporizers. Essentially all are considered to be e-cigarettes.
Image credit: CDC
Vape Companies that Have Come Under Fire
There are multiple brands that have been deemed as dangerous by Health Organizations. One e-cigarette brand that has come under siege is Juul Labs, Inc. Courthouse News reported that the city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against the electronic cigarette brand stating that Juul Labs purposely marketed its products to teens and young adults by enticing them to purchase “fun fruity flavors.”
Juul has also been accused of deceiving customers over the addictive quality of their product. A study conducted by the Surgeon General concluded that any type of nicotine usage amongst adolescents can be addictive, even if there are only small traces of the substance. Studies that have been conducted on e-cigs have proven that Juul products have a greater amount of nicotine than any other electronic cigarette on the market as well.
Research project manager Jessica Yingst, of Penn State’s University College of Medicine, said: “The Juul users we studied obtained blood nicotine concentrations almost three times as high as most of the e-cigarette users we previously studied.” She made the statement in a university news release, and went on to say: “Juul’s nicotine delivery is very similar to that of cigarettes.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also listed a number of vape brands that have been reported to be linked to illnesses.
Chemicals in E-Cigarettes that Can Harm You
Vapor devices were made as an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Big e-cig companies claimed that using an e-cigarette can decrease the chances of a smoker developing lung cancer and had promised that the product would not be addictive like regular cigarettes that contain nicotine. Health professionals have argued though that the risks of e-cigarettes pose a greater threat to consumers.
Vape pens not only contain nicotine (which has proven to be an addictive drug), but e-cigarettes also include harmful chemicals such as:
Heavy metals: Researchers have found a variety of heavy metals in e-cigarettes. Specifically, in the tank type of e-cigarettes, the types of heavy metals that were found included nickel, aluminum, silicon, copper, and iron just to name a few. It is dangerous to ingest heavy metals because this can potentially lead to gastrointestinal disorders, lung disease, or cancer.
Flavors: Flavorings and other chemicals found in vape juice can possibly increase the risk of a person developing heart disease. Researchers at the Stanford school of medicine stated that cells become “less viable” and that “cells are also less able to form new vascular tubes and to migrate and participate in wound healing.” Vape juice or e-liquids are comprised of either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin.
Carcinogenic compounds: Experts at WebMD revealed that smoking e-cigarettes can have extreme health effects on your lungs from the carcinogenic compounds found in the product. A carcinogen is something that can cause you to have cancer. It may be a substance in the air, a product you use, or a chemical in foods and drinks. There can be up to five different types of carcinogen compounds found in one vape pen. People who use e-cigarettes have an increased risk of suffering from cancer.
Why Are Vape Pens Exploding?
The cause of vaping explosions has nothing to do with the harmful substances within e-cigarettes though. Blame for vape pens exploding can be attributed to the e-cigarette battery. These batteries have been involved in multiple injury cases.
In a majority of the cases, it’s the device’s lithium-ion batteries that explode or catch fire. These batteries are also commonly found in laptops and cell phones. However, with e-cigarettes, the batteries are more prone to overheating, especially when they are used with incompatible chargers. Batteries and chargers are also manufactured overseas where there is little regulation or quality control.
The FDA has yet to regulate e-cigarettes in any way, shape, or form. If you or someone you know has experienced serious injuries due to a defective vape pen and are looking to file an e-cigarette explosion lawsuit, contact the Southern California e-cigarette injury attorneys of Bisnar Chase for a free case analysis at (800) 561-4887.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
You cannot protect yourself from defectively manufactured or assembled e-cigarettes. However, here are a few steps you can take in terms of exercising caution.
- Avoid counterfeit brands. Be aware of where the devices, batteries, and chargers are manufactured.
- Only charge your device with the power adapter that comes with the battery.
- Do not plug the device into computers or other USB-capable devices.
- Find a device that has a battery you remove from the atomizer to charge. These appear to be safer than the models that remain attached when charging.
- Do not overcharge your battery or leave it plugged in and unattended.
E-cigarette injury lawyer Brian Chase shares his take on the exploding vaping devices.
Product Liability Laws in California
The state of California enforces a “strict liability” law, which means that if a manufacturer or seller’s product causes harm to a consumer they are then liable for the injuries and damages that a person has obtained. There are three parties that can be responsible for an e-cigarette explosion victim’s injuries. Liable parties can include the manufacturer, designer, or seller of the product. Consumers who have suffered from serious injuries due to vape pens can potentially be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and mental anguish.
If many people experienced injuries from using the product, a class action lawsuit can be filed against the company.
Below are individual and class action lawsuits filed against e-cigarette companies thus far.
Filing an E-Cigarette Explosion Claim
If you have suffered serious injuries as the result of a defective electronic cigarette, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Seek medical attention immediately: First and foremost, get prompt medical attention and treatment for your injuries. A few victims suffer severe injuries to their eyes, face, and mouth, particularly if the device explodes as they are using it. This could lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement. Users also face the risk of suffering burn injuries to other parts of their bodies.
Preserve the evidence: Be sure to preserve the device, including the different components such as the battery and charger. The device needs to be thoroughly examined by an expert for any types of defects, malfunctions, or design flaws.
Explore your legal options: Contact an experienced e-cigarette injury lawyer who will conduct an independent investigation and hold the product manufacturers accountable for their negligence. In such cases, depending on the circumstances, there may be several potentially liable parties including the shop that sold you the product, the manufacturer of the e-cigarette, or the company that made the battery or the charger.
Hire an E-Cigarette Injury Lawyer
The experienced Orange County vaping injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase will work diligently to ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for your losses and that the negligent manufacturers are held accountable.
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury due to a defective electronic cigarette, you may be entitled to compensation including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries or disabilities, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
We are passionate about the pursuit of justice for our injured clients.
Call us at (800) 561-4887 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation on your injury claim.