When electronic cigarettes first started coming out about a decade ago, they were heralded as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco, and an effective way to help people quit smoking altogether. According to polls, the use of electronic cigarettes in the U.S. increased exponentially between 2013 and 2015, rising from 2.6% of adults to an estimated 10%.
The makers of electronic cigarettes have implored potential customers that their products are not only safe but also the best way to satisfy a nicotine habit without the cancer risk that comes with smoking tobacco. The science behind that claim, though, is still unconfirmed. As for how safe an electronic cigarette is to use, there have been more and more instances of the devices exploding, causing serious mouth, throat, and hand injuries to unwary users.
How Electronic Cigarettes Work
The basic idea behind an electronic cigarette – also known as an “e-cig” – is to lace a liquid with nicotine, then heat it up in a vapor in order to inhale it. To make this happen, e-cigs are composed of a little more than a tank for the liquid solution, a battery-powered heating element, and a mouthpiece to inhale the resulting vapor.
The Perks of E-Cigs
There have been several draws to the idea of an electronic cigarette that have made them so popular.
The devices provide the nicotine rush that a typical cigarette does, but without the tar and other chemicals that come with smoking tobacco, allegedly eliminating the risk of cancer that comes with smoking. Additionally, because e-cigs do not emit second hand smoke, they can be used indoors, and in places where tobacco smoking has been banned in most states. Lastly, though the initial cost of e-cigs is steep – most sell for several hundreds of dollars – when compared to the price of regular cigarettes, they save money in the long run.
How E-Cigs Have Shown They Can Be Dangerous
While there is not enough data to prove or disprove whether e-cigs eliminate the cancer risk of smoking tobacco, what is clear is that e-cigs can be dangerous. The news seems saturated with stories of e-cigs exploding or catching fire. Most of these instances revolve around charging the device's batteries, but others are more disturbing, with electronic cigarettes exploding in someone's mouth, hand, or pocket.
These malfunctions have caused severe burn injuries to unwary e-cig users, many of whom are minors.
Baltimore Personal Injury Attorneys
Electronic cigarettes are just one more example of a product that has hit the market without satisfactory testing. Unfortunately, every time something like this happens, unwary buyers are the ones who suffer the most, having to deal with the often severe injuries caused by a faulty product.
The personal injury and products liability attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian have experience representing injured people get the compensation that they deserve from the negligent manufacturers of terrible products. If you have been hurt by an electronic cigarette, call our law office at (800) 529-6162 or contact us online.