The impacts of the use of e-cigarettes, or vapes, have recently been plastered all over headlines as hundreds of people have been diagnosed with what is thought to be vaping-related respiratory illnesses. Vaping has been recently deemed an “epidemic” by the Surgeon General for not only the increased health and safety risks, but the alarming amount of children and teens that use the product.
With an array of sweet-flavored pods available, the “taste-factor” alone could cause an addictive dependence on the product, especially in children. Unfortunately, there is also nicotine in these products, which can cause serious nicotine addiction, especially for those who weren’t reliant on traditional tobacco cigarettes in the past and aren’t informed on the dangers of nicotine.
While we know there is nicotine in these e-liquids, the actual chemical concoction of the liquids used in e-cigarettes is still unknown. E-cigarettes and their refill pods are not regularly monitored or regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, so manufacturers are not mandated to release the full ingredients of their products.
As a result, its extremely difficult to estimate the potential hazards these products can have on a person. Not only that, but as the product is intended for adults, it’s hard to determine the effects that these products can have on younger bodies.
The actual device itself comes in various shapes and sizes due to a number of generational releases, but are usually powered through a lithium-ion battery. There have been several reports of exploding vapes due to this design, which has caused serious bodily damage to some users and even death.
In March of 2018, a 17-year-old Nevada teen was rushed to the hospital after suffering from a major fracture of his lower jaw after his e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. This included several missing teeth and a 2-centimeter piece that had exploded and was missing from his jaw. A few months later, a Texas man died from what his death certificate cites as, “cerebral infarction and herniation after debris from the exploding vape pen dissected his left carotid artery.”
Vape users have even filed lawsuits against the manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and individual stores for their exploding devices. Jennifer Ries was awarded $1.9 million after her device exploded and leaked hot liquid and set her clothing and car seats on fire. This incident has left her with scarring on her hands, legs, and buttocks.
Another consumer lawsuit awarded more than $2 million after the jury deemed that the seller was negligent in selling a faulty battery. In 2016, J. Michael Hoce was using his e-cigarette when the blast of his exploding e-cigarette caused him to lose teeth and experience severe bleeding.
Although exploding batteries are rare while using e-cigarettes, it’s still a risk. The health and safety of using e-cigarettes is continuously being studied as popularity grows and illnesses progress. With each day bringing new controversies surrounding the product, it’s unlikely that manufacturers will find themselves with a break anytime soon.