E-Cigarettes May Cause Life Changing Facial Lacerations and Poisoning
Many people who make the unfortunate mistake of taking up cigarette smoking when they are young are suddenly confronted with an addiction problem when they find it’s almost impossible to give up instantly or when they choose. Even frightening advertising and constant warnings about the illnesses that could develop if smoking is continued for long periods aren’t typically enough to dissuade smokers from kicking the habit. As a result e-cigarettes were born.
What is an e-cigarette?
If you don’t already know you can probably work out exactly what an e-cigarette is, especially if you know how hard it is to give up the habit of smoking once you have already started the habit. The key ingredient of an e-cigarette is typically nicotine. It’s the unnoticeable substance that causes your addiction. So e-cigarettes were born as it appeared that they were a good way of getting rid of harmful tobacco while offering the user the pleasurable drug effects of nicotine.
Do e-cigarettes really act as a good substitute for cigarettes?
Recent research has indicated that what comes out of these e-cigarettes is almost as dangerous as the products from tobacco based cigarettes themselves.
Risks from e-cigarette use
The sorts of known harm from this combination of products are:
- explosions from defective batteries
- nicotine poisoning
- lung disease caused by the flavored juice of the nicotine
- defective components and toxic substances in the vaporizer
E-Cigarette explosions are caused by what is called the atomizer or heating element. This heating device gets its power from a rechargeable lithium battery. This vaporizes a solution which starts out in liquid form and is made up of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and nicotine. It’s both the explosions and the combination of products found in the vaporized solution which can cause harm to users.
Nicotine poisoning real threat
There are 2 types of nicotine poisoning, one of which takes place within 15 minutes of exposure leading to vomiting. After an exposure of 30 minutes to 4 hours depression may be the result and even more exposure could lead to death suddenly if not treated. 50 to 60 mg could kill an adult.
Statistics of injuries from e-cigarettes
Looking at the United States alone, from 2009 to 2014, 25 e-cigarette users were harmed by an exploding e-cigarette. Doctors based at the University of Washington state that they are being confronted with at least 2 patients every month because of e-cigarette defects. Some of the clearest reasons identified for these sudden explosions are defects in the lithium ion batteries. Of course, not all explosions get reported, so this could be the tip of the iceberg.
There was a case recently of a Hollywood producer who while flying from Denver to LA found that an e-cigarette exploded without warning. There have been incidences of the outbreak of house fires leading to the complete destruction of homes with the cause linked to exploding e-cigarettes. In 2015, throughout the country at poison control centers, there were 1,073 nicotine over-exposures reported that were related to the use of vape fluids and electronic cigarettes. Most victims really believed that e-cigarettes were better for them than traditional cigarettes and their use wouldn’t inflict any damage.
In other incidences, the device has spontaneously exploded in the users’ hands or pockets leading to damaging injuries. This seems to be related to the fact that the batteries are cylindrical and when pressure builds in the battery quickly the e-cigarette becomes ruptured at its weakest point, propelling the battery so fast that it attains speeds similar to those found in a gun.
Types of injuries from a vape explosion include:
- groin or thigh injuries
- hand injuries
- 1 in 5 injuries affect the face including damage to teeth and facial lacerations
The manufacture of e-cigarettes: the key to the problem
It is quite normal to test products thoroughly before they are released out into the market. Unfortunately though, not all e-cigarette products are tested sufficiently and they haven’t necessarily been engineered well enough to eliminate the possibility of a serious health hazard emerging.
Poor quality batteries often used
Lithium-ion batteries are composed of layers of metallic cathode and anode material which are separated by a porous film. This porous film encases a liquid electrolyte made of lithium salts and an organic solvent placed in a cylindrical metal that is sealed to keep the liquid electrolyte sealed inside.
All electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries are usually flammable and if a battery fails due to over-heating it can catch fire and explode suddenly. Over-charging or short circuiting or even heat from external sources can cause an explosion. E-cigarettes which are overcharged seem to be a common reason for overheating and explosions. Only too often there is an internal defect in the battery which causes an explosion unexpectedly. This only happens in poor quality, cheaply made batteries – not good quality ones.
Unfortunately, manufacturers and retailers may knowingly use poor quality batteries and put lives of consumers in danger. It is in these situations where victims are faced with huge medical bills, serious life-altering injuries and financial hardship from loss of earnings.
Victims injured by an e-cigarette may be entitled to compensation
It is a legal requirement that manufacturers ensure that products released on to the market are free from potential dangers. If an accident occurs which could have been prevented had the manufacturer been more careful, the victim may be entitled to file a personal injury compensation claim to cover the financial hardships caused by the injuries.
In Washington recently, 4 victims of injuries received from poorly designed e-cigarettes are filing lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers for injuries received which include 2nd and 3rd degree burns which have required endless amounts of reconstructive surgery to try to restore the effects of the damage. Class actions have also been filed in the state of California for the same reasons.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to hire an attorney
If you believe you have received life-threatening injuries from e-cigarette use don’t delay. Hire our personal injury law firm who will help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. The amount calculated will cover the cost of medical treatment including cosmetic surgery if you have severe facial damage, loss of earnings and pain and suffering you have endured.
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