Over the last two weeks, two separate house fires reported in the media were apparently caused by exploding electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Earlier this year, car fires and burns were also attributed to e-cigarettes. On August 27, 2013, an e-cigarette’s battery failed while it was charging, which then sparked a fire in the Binghamton, New York home, according to WBNG News. One person was in the house at the time of the fire but was able to escape without injuries. The fire resulted in heavy smoke and water damage to the house.
A few days after the house fire in Binghamton, New York, a similar story emerged in Atlanta, Georgia. According to ABC57 and The Huffington Post, Elizabeth Wilkowski was charging her E-Hit e-cigarette in her computer’s USB port when it exploded and burned a hole in her rug and couch. Local news source WSB-TV also reported that she described it as a “kaboom” followed by a “flame shooting across my living room.” Ms. Wilkowski expressed concern that she would have lost her pets and her house had she not been home at the time of the explosion.
Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA has raised doubt as to whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use. The FDA may propose a rule that would extend its authority over tobacco products to cover e-cigarettes. In the meantime, according to AdAge, the FDA is expected to propose a ban next month against television advertising for e-cigarettes.
Several U.S. senators also vowed to take action against e-cigarettes, according to U.S. News and World Report. Their decision comes on the heels of the data released early this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health. The CDC reports that the number of middle school and high school-aged students experimenting with e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, an estimated 1.78 million students reported having tried e-cigarettes. About 160,000 of these students had never used traditional cigarettes.
Were You Injured by Electronic Cigarettes?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from electronic cigarettes, you may want to speak with an attorney to learn about your rights. Free and confidential consultations with our personal injury lawyers are available by calling toll-free (866) 981-4800 or filling out the form to your right.