E-cigarettes: The Danger Continues


April 14, 2016 / Product Injury

A few months ago we brought the problems of e-cigarettes, or vaping, to your attention. With further local developments, we thought we would revisit the situation, as many folks now use e-cigarettes. While there’s no hard number for how many people are vaping in Indiana, across the U.S. as many as 3.5 million individuals supposedly are using electronic cigarettes instead of the real thing. A large number of these vapers are former cigarette smokers who are trying to cut their risk of lung cancer and other illnesses.

Explosions and Injuries Across the U.S.

There have been a number of stories involving e-cigarettes and explosions which have resulted in injuries:

  • February, 2016: an Owensboro, KY, resident experienced acute burns on his thigh after an e-cigarette battery in his pants pocket apparently exploded.
  • December, 2015: a central Washington state man’s e-cigarette exploded, damaging his hand and arm. It is unclear whether he will ever have full use of his right hand again. He is one of four young persons in the past few months treated for horrible injuries due to e-cigarette explosions that are often linked to battery failures.
  • February, 2016: a Chicago story reported on two people, one of whom suffered third-degree burns to his face and battery acid in his lungs after his e-cigarette exploded while he vaped. A woman experienced second-degree burns to her leg when her e-cigarette battery exploded while charging in her car.

But it is a new local measure that has caused some discussion in Indiana.

Trucker Crash in Jackson County

On a stretch of road in Jackson County on I-65 during January of 2016, a semi-tractor-trailer driver went off the road after his e-cigarette seemingly exploded. The driver suffered injuries to his face, and was taken to University of Louisville Hospital for the treatment of his injuries.

No one else was injured in the crash, which did damage some guardrails. It was clear to investigators that the driver’s injuries were due to the e-cigarette, not the crash.

Although not tied to January’s e-cigarette incident on I-65, in March, 2016, the Indiana General Assembly adopted a measure to further regulate those who make the liquids used inside the e-cigarettes. The liquids are vaporized and inhaled, providing a pleasant sensory experience for the vaper. The measure compels a store to apply for a permit costing $1,000, by June, and to enter into a five-year contract with a security company. No other state has such strict legislation, but supporters claim that the measure arises from safety concerns.

Some fear that businesses will close. Evan McMahon, chairman of the industry and consumer advocacy group Hoosier Vapers, commented, “This has an earth-shattering, industry-killing effect.”

Between safety concerns involving the vaping liquids and battery explosions, the future of e-cigarettes in Indiana may be heading down a different path. Stay tuned.

When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

Have you or a loved one been injured while using an e-cigarette, or perhaps while using another product? If you think you might have a case, keep in mind that in Indiana there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure.

Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. When you call Mike, you can have complete confidence that you are working with the best. Call Mike today ator contact us using our online form.

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