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Navy Considers E-Cigarette Ban Amid Safety Worries

man smoking an e-cigarette

The U.S. Navy is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, from all Navy property.

The proposal comes as there is increasing concerns over the dangers of the electronic devices. The Naval Safety Center has recorded 12 incidents of the batteries inside these devices exploding, leading to fires and injuries to the sailors using them.

Navy records 12 e-cig fire events

According to a report at the Navy Times, the 12 incidents were all recorded between October 2015 and May 2016. Seven of those incidents occurred on Navy ships and some resulted in fires that had to be put out using firefighting equipment. Eight of the explosions occurred to e-cigarettes stored in someone’s pocket and led to first and second-degree burns. Another two occurred while the e-cigarettes were in the sailor’s mouths, which caused injuries to the face and teeth.

The Navy is now trying to determine whether keeping e-cigarettes out of submarines, ships and airplanes would increase safety and reduce the potential for property damage.

Currently, the Naval Sea Systems Command has a partial ban on lithium-ion batteries, the same type of batteries that are used in e-cigarettes. The Safety Center is also recommending and extension of the ban to include e-cigarettes, keeping them away from all naval property. When the batteries inside the e-cigarette tube overheat, they can convert the device into a small and very dangerous bomb.

“It is strongly recommended that action be taken to prohibit these devices from use, transport or storage on Navy facilities, submarines, ships, vessels and aircraft,” a memo from the Safety Center reads. “In conjunction with these efforts, it is recommended that the Navy launch a dedicated safety campaign to inform service members about the potential danger of these products.”

Concerns about e-cigs growing

It is not just the Navy that has become concerned about the risks associated with e-cigarettes. Numerous e-cigarette explosions have been reported across the nation, which have caused serious burns, bone fractures and tissue damage. The U.S. Fire Administration found 25 incidents involving e-cigarettes between 2009 and 2014, which were discovered by media reports. However, the administration believes there may have been more injuries and incidents that were not reported during that time.

The report found that 80 percent of the incidents occurred while the battery was being charged, while eight percent occurred while the device was being used. The incidents results in 10 injuries, two of which were considered serious. Both of those occurred when the devices exploded in the users’ mouths.

Currently, there is no regulation of e-cigarettes, which leaves consumers unsure of whether the devices they use are up to the highest safety standards. The devices are also not required to carry any warnings about the possibility of explosions at this time. However, those who are injured by the devices may have legal recourse against the manufacturers that are failing to provide proper warning about potential risks associated with their products.

If you are injured by an e-cigarette, legal help is available. Contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye to discuss your legal options. To speak with a New York personal injury lawyer free of charge, please call at 1-800-469-7429.