Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Exploding electronic cigarette raises questions, safety concerns

For many people, there is no harder feat than trying to stop smoking after many years of indulging their habit. While many will decide to take the more traditional routes like quitting cold turkey, using a nicotine patch or taking prescription medications, a growing number of people are now turning to electronic cigarettes, which supposedly provide users with all of the nicotine but none of the harmful side effects of smoking.

As it turns out, however, these electronic cigarettes may be more hazardous to a person's health than originally thought, as there have been several reports over the years of the devices spontaneously catching fire and exploding, causing serious injuries and extensive property damage.

Consider a recent case out of the state of Georgia, where a woman was going about her daily business when she heard an incredibly loud pop that she later likened to the sound of a small bomb detonating.

When the woman went to her living room to investigate, she saw flames at least four feet long reaching across the floor, burning her rug, her couch and eventually the cloth she used to extinguish the flames.

Once the situation was under control, she tracked the source of the blaze to her electronic cigarette, which had been plugged into the USB port on her computer to charge.

"If I hadn't had been home, I would have lost my dogs, I would have lost my cats, I would have lost my house," she said in an interview.

While the cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, some electronic cigarette retailers have theorized that the woman either overcharged the device or used the incorrect charger, and insisted that such accidents are few and far between.

However, recent reports show that similar incidents have occurred in at least four other states, including a rather shocking incident in Florida back in 2007. Here, a man suffered serious personal injuries after his electronic cigarette blew up in his mouth and set the surrounding room on fire.

This story becomes all the more disturbing when you consider that estimates from the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association show that there are currently 3.5 million of these devices in use here in the U.S.

Whether you've been injured by a dangerous product or by the general negligence of a property owner here in Pennsylvania, consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you secure the justice you deserve.

Source: WSBTV, "Woman says E-cigarette exploded, shot flames 4 feet across living room," Jim Strickland, September 2, 2013; International Science Times, " An E-Cigarette exploded at a home in Atlanta: What caused [a woman's] electronic smoking device to catch fire?" September 4, 2013

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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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