Exploding E-Cigarettes May Bring FDA to Issue Regulations

The e-cigarette was introduced to the market in 2007 and considered by many to be an alternative to and a tool to help in smoking cessation efforts. Unfortunately, since 2009, there have been at least 25 separate incidents of people being injured by e-cigarettes exploding and on at least one occasion, causing fires, ABC News reports.

Recently, in Naples, Florida, an e-cigarette exploded in the user’s mouth causing serious burns and damaging two teeth. In California, a man had an e-cigarette explode in his hand, causing serious burns. A New Hampshire bedroom was destroyed in a fire caused by an exploding e-cigarette, according to ABC News.

The lithium battery used in the device and the charger have been named the culprits since 80 percent of the explosions happen while the e-cigarette battery was being charged. The lithium battery stores a large amount of energy in a small space, giving it the ability to spontaneously ignite, creating a “mini-bomb in your pocket.” When the charger overcharges the battery, it tends to overheat, creating the potential danger.

Poor design, low quality materials, various flaws and defects in manufacturing, and improper use can all contribute to a condition known as “thermal runaway.” This is when the battery temperature increases to the point of overheating causing an explosion or fire. Spike Babaian, the owner of Vape New York and the founder of the National Vapors club, states that when the proper battery and charger recommended by the e-cigarette company are used, the danger virtually disappears, according to the I-TEAM NBC News.

In a survey conducted by NPR (National Public Radio) it was established that 60 percent of the 3,000 Americans polled supported the FDA’s involvement in regulating e-cigarettes, treating them as any other tobacco product. The FDA had begun testing of e-cigarettes in 2014 regarding health aspects, especially after finding carcinogens, an anti-freeze component, as well as some nicotine(although the label claimed there was no nicotine), in e-cigarettes, NBC News reports. There is no specific timetable to date when and if any FDA regulation will go into effect.

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