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FDA Holds Public Workshop to Address E Cig Battery Safety Concerns

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigarette

Third degree burns, vision loss, fractured teeth and broken bones are just some of the horrendous injuries caused by e-cigarette battery explosions. By all accounts, “vaping” is supposed to be safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. But over the past six years, the FDA has logged nearly 140 reports of debilitating injuries, house fires and property damage caused by overheating and exploding e-cigs, prompting federal authorities to start regulating the devices and their components in 2016.

On January 4, 2017, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products announced a public workshop designed to gather crucial information on dangers and risks associated with the use of lithium ion batteries in electronic cigarettes. In addition to the workshop, regulators are also establishing a public docket that will enable staff to hear from tobacco product manufacturers, researchers, investigators, and the public about safety concerns regarding electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Public workshop to address e-cig safety concerns

According to a report issued by the FDA, the public workshop will be held April 19 and 20, 2017 at the agency’s White Oak Campus conference center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The registration deadline for individuals and businesses interested in participating is March 17, 2017.

The two-day ENDS conference – the first of its kind – will include panel discussions and presentations about battery safety risks such as overheating, fires, malfunction and explosion, and will also address how consumers and the public are made aware of these potential dangers. All interested parties are encouraged to submit relevant research, data and commentary on a confidential or public basis.

CTP regulators are anticipating input at the workshop from a wide range of parties including state and local government entities, electronic cigarette importers, distributors and retailers, companies that make ENDS batteries, medical experts, academic researchers, concerned consumers and public health organizations.

The probe comes at a critical time, as some 66 e-cig explosions and fires were confirmed by the AP in 2015/early 2016 alone. Until now, manufacturers of ENDS have been able to market their products without complying with FDA standards that would ensure vaping devices are safe and free of defects.

Legal recourse available to electronic cigarette victims

As anecdotal evidence shows, electronic cigarette explosions and fires can occur without warning—sometimes when the devices are charging or while being used. In dozens of cases, victims were not told about battery dangers, or the need to use brand name charging cables. Some of the most shocking incidents resulting in serious harm have prompted the filing of personal injury lawsuits, with plaintiffs demanding compensation for facial injuries, deep burns, broken bones and the catastrophic medical expenses and diminished quality of life that followed suit.

Edelman Krasin & Jaye is an award-winning, full-service personal injury firm with headquarters in Long Island, NY.  If you or someone you love were injured from a vape pen or ENDS device, you may be eligible for legal compensation. To speak with a skilled e-cigarette explosion lawyer about your case, we invite you to call today for a free consultation.

Additional e-cig explosion resources

  1. Federal Register, Battery Safety Concerns in Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems; Public Workshop; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for Comments https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/04/2016-31857/battery-safety-concerns-in-electronic-nicotine-delivery-systems-public-workshop-establishment-of-a
  2. NBC News, What’s Causing Some E-Cigarette Batteries to Explode? http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/what-s-causing-some-e-cigarette-batteries-explode-n533516