Vaporizer pens, better known as vape pens, are advertised as safer, healthier alternatives to classic cigarettes. Though just saying something is safe, and that thing actually being safe, are two different things, which is why we see a new vape pen lawsuit crop up all the time.
Big Tobacco has been the proverbial boogeyman for decades now, thanks to thousands of lawsuits, and class-action suits, filed against cigarette manufacturers due to lung cancer and not giving proper warning.
So simply being billed as the anti-cigarette, vaporizer products were already creating an awful lot of buzz around the world for those who use tobacco products for nicotine.
To be clear, vaporizers do not deal with tobacco. They use a coil and oxygen and a battery charge to atomize cotton that has been saturated with a nicotine liquid, which creates a vapor that is inhaled. So there’s no actual tobacco with which to contend. However, that does not necessarily make these products safe.
Because vaporizer pens deal with the heat from atomization, and the constant charging of batteries, it has become commonplace for vape pens’ batteries to explode and cause serious injury. We actually see cases like this on the rise in recent years.
Vaporizers: An Explosion of Lawsuits
In 2017 alone, over 120 individual lawsuits were filed due to exploding batteries in vaporizer pens. At least 8 of these lawsuits were filed by people who claimed the e-cigarettes exploded in their mouths, claiming myriad injuries from having their teeth knocked out to third-degree burns.
And these injuries did not simply deal with devices malfunctioning while the nicotine vapor was being inhaled. Dozens more of these lawsuits were actually filed because spare batteries in their pocket would sometimes explode or catch fire, leaving quite a few people with third-degree burns on their legs.
There’s even a case in California where a man claims to have lost an eye due to an exploding vape pen. This all culminated in someone actually filing a wrongful death lawsuit, with their loved one allegedly dying from an exploding device, when shrapnel hit a 30-year-old man named Thomas Gangi in the head in his New York home.
Yes, these items can be dangerous. Yes, they will explode sometimes and cause injury. Vape pens have proven time and again to not be a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, and you may find yourself in need of a lawyer who deals in exploding e-cigs and vape pens as a specialty. It is a scary reality, but it is a reality that people need to face, if they insist on using these potentially deadly products.
How Can Vape Pens Explode?
Unfortunately, you’re not dealing with just anyone set cause there, and thus that means that you can never really predict an explosion or keep the products from exploding so long as you’re using them. The first thing to understand is that they use a lithium-ion battery, and since these things are churned out by the millions, one could easily slip through quality control measures and be defective.
A defective battery can easily overheat, even if it’s not inside of the device powering it. This can cause a serious burn if you’re carrying the battery on your person, and can cause an explosion when it’s locked inside of the device and the heat causes it to explode via combustion.
Whenever a lithium-ion battery overheats, an electrolyte is triggered which could cause a rupture and ultimately an explosion. Likewise, something could damage the battery and cause the same sort of disaster. Although these batteries are small, they contain a whole lot of energy.
Something as simple as pocket change or your keys rubbing against these batteries in your pocket could cause damage and ultimately an explosion.
Is the Nicotine Vapor Safe in these Items?
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that, when inhaled, can easily cause damage to the lungs and irritate your mouth and throat. The trouble with vaporizers and the juice cartridges is that users can find brands of vessels that carry more nicotine. And some users even tinker with the airflow and OHM ratings of their devices to vaporize more of the juice, so they’re getting a bigger hit of nicotine every time they inhale. This not only leads to addiction but also potential damage to the respiratory system.
One must also consider that the juice for e-cigarettes also contains heavy metals and other chemicals. While they don’t have the tar and additives contained in most cigarettes, e-juice containers do contain metals and chemicals like diacetyl. These substances have been scientifically shown to have adverse effects on the development of behavior and brain function in minors, and large doses in adults can do the same.
Exercising Safety First
There is no surefire way to reduce your risks to zero unless you simply do not use these e-cigarette products. However, if you do use them, there are a few ways by which you can help prevent injury. Here are a few safety tips you can use.
- 1: Don’t Carry Loose Batteries: Make sure that you’re carrying “loose” batteries in a tin or wrapped in something. The wear and tear of your keys, pocket change, or just sliding in and out of your pocket can damage batteries and cause them to overheat or explode. Handle them with care.
- 2: Do Not Modify Your Device: You may be tempted to adjust the airflow, the OHM level, or to do other things to your vape pen to get more of a burn from them. This is going to tax the battery a lot and could lead to an explosion. What’s more, if you tamper with the device and get injured, it’s much harder to recover damages from the manufacturer, because you will be seen as liable.
- 3: Store Properly: Storing your vape pen keeps it free and clean of debris and helps to avoid damage. If the pen is damaged and you’re not aware, this could easily lead to overheating and a worse accident.
If you have been unfortunate enough to be injured by a vape pen device or its battery, the good news is that you can find a lawyer specializing in those sorts of injuries. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer if you or someone you know has been injured or killed by an exploding vape pen.