Vaping and E-Cigarette Injuries and Deaths Soar

Stephen M. Smith
Last Updated:
November 26, 2019

Vaping has become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. The industry is now worth billions of dollars and electronic cigarettes are particularly popular with teens. At the same time, vaping and e-cigarette injuries and deaths are rising.

While the vaping industry promotes electronic cigarettes as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes, this is not the case. E-cigarettes cause serious health conditions, according to recent studies. However, the most serious injuries are reported from explosions of e-cigarettes.

The e-cigarette industry is now a $7 billion global industry made up of roughly 500 brands

At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys represent people injured by dangerous devices across the country. E-cigarettes are poorly regulated and among the most hazardous products to hit the markets in recent years.

Is Vaping Linked to the Deaths of Smokers?

In Feb. 2019, William Brown, a 24-year-old man from Texas, died from injuries he sustained after the vape pen he was using exploded, according to a local medical examiner’s office.

The vape pen burst suddenly and severed his carotid artery, according to Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Texas death was the second recorded in the United States from an e-cigarette explosion.

In 2018, Tallmadge D’Elia from Florida was killed when his vaping device exploded and fragments drove themselves into his cranium.

A report in The Register noted the Florida man was using an e-cigarette manufactured by Smok-E Mountain. An investigation by the Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner’s office found the explosion launched two fragments of the vaping device into the victim’s head, killing him.

D’Elia also suffered burns to 80 percent of his body, according to media reports. The explosion started a fire in his home. Firefighters found his body when they broke in to tackle the inferno.

Vaping and E-cigarettes are also linked to multiple injuries in smokers.

A recent report by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency found almost 200 incidents of vape pens overheating or exploding reported between January 2009 and December 31, 2016. They resulted in 133 acute injuries to users, 38 of them categorized described as “severe.”

E-cigarettes have caused severe facial disfigurement and serious burns. The industry is poorly regulated.

What Are E-Cigarettes?

The term “electronic cigarette” includes a wide range of devices with many different shapes and configurations. E-cigarettes are also referred to as e-cigs, personal vaporizers (Vapes), electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or mods.

E-cigarettes are powered by batteries. They simulate traditional tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor that resembles cigarette smoke. E-cigarettes or vapes became a popular alternative to smoking in recent years. They are not necessarily a means of helping smokers stop their habits and are often used by people who don’t smoke.

Vaping and the Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Most of the vaping accidents are caused by lithium-ion batteries in E-cigarettes exploding.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency report describes the inherent dangers of the lithium-ion batteries found in e-cigarettes.

The report concludes the combination of electronic cigarettes and lithium-ion batteries is a “new and unique hazard.” It said there is no analogy in present consumer products to the risk of severe and acute injury posed by vaping.

This is a damning indictment. However, few users of e-cigarettes are aware of the danger they are in. Although explosions are not common, they can cause devastating and life-threatening injuries.

The most common vaping issues are burns and disfigurement injuries.

In August 2018, a man from Arizona suffered serious burns when an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket.

He felt his leg start to get warm when he climbed out of his truck. He saw sparks flying from the bottom of his shorts and felt the terrible pain of his skin burning. Forty percent of his leg sustained second and third-degree burns.

Is Vaping and E-Cigarette use Harmful to Your Health?

E-cigarettes appear to be less lethal than conventional cigarettes, reported Harvard Medical School.

However, e-cigarettes are a relatively new product. Nicotine in these devices is associated with several negative health effects. Chronic nicotine exposure may cause type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. When a user inhales nicotine, it can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Nicotine is very addictive. It can cause changes in a smoker’s brain making them more likely to become addicted to other drugs. Nicotine is linked to the impairment of prefrontal brain development in young people.

Research conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California San Francisco revealed vaping has many potentially damaging health impacts.

Director Stanton Glantz said the center’s research found people who use e-cigarettes every day almost double their risk of having had a heart attack, on top of the normal heart attack risks of any cigarette smoking that they may be doing.

Another frightening side-effect of flavored e-cigarettes is the hazards posed by diacetyl, which is associated with a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans.

The disease may cause permanent damage to the tiny airways in the lungs called the bronchioles. This condition is also known as popcorn lung.

Lawsuits Over Vaping and E-Cigarettes

A series of recent explosions of e-cigarettes resulted in multiple lawsuits against manufacturers. People who suffered serious injuries are seeking compensation for physical, emotional, and financial injuries in Virginia and elsewhere.

Our Hampton personal injury lawyers are also concerned at how e-cigarette manufacturers appear to be targeting children with brands like Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum, Cupcake vapes.

The explosions associated with lithium-ion batteries can be serious. In some cases, cars have even been blown apart by the force of explosions in tiny e-cigarettes.

If you or a family member has been harmed by vaping, please contact our Hampton injury lawyers at (757) 244-7000.

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