E-cigarettes (or ‘vapes’), have become a common sight in streets, pubs and offices across the UK over the past few years, with many smokers switching from traditional tobacco-filled cigarettes to the electronic, exotically flavoured and smokeless alternatives.
The government body Public Health England declared the smoking alternatives to be significantly safer than cigarettes earlier this year, which has helped increase sales and grow the new market.
How Electronic Cigarettes Work
Electronic cigarettes use a mix of liquid nicotine and water, which turns into a smoke-like vapour when heated and inhaled. A typical e-cigarette usually consists of a replaceable cartridge with the flavoured liquid nicotine, an atomiser (which is what heats the liquid) and a rechargeable battery that can be charged on laptops and computers using a USB cable connector.
The global market for eCigarettes and ‘vaping’ devices hit over six billion in 2015, with specialist e-cig shops becoming commonplace on high streets across Britain.
However, another effect from the rise of vaping is an increase in personal injury claims attached to e-smoking devices. Many worry that the incredibly fast rise of the e-cig has led to a lack of safety regulation in the production of them.
When E-Cigs Go Wrong
Most personal injury cases linked to electronic cigarettes involve burns after the device has exploded. Many of the devices’ rechargeable batteries either overheat during use or when plugged in to charge. Most e-smoking devices have batteries that do not stop charging when they have hit maximum charge, meaning the batteries are at risk of overheating, leaking and exploding if left to charge for too long.
There have recently been some high-profile personal injury cases related to e-smoking devices in America, and injuries related to the rechargeable batteries are increasing in the UK.