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Navy may ban e-cigarette use due to safety defect

As we have been reporting on this blog, users of e-cigarettes have increasingly suffered serious burns as the result of problems with the lithium-ion batteries that power them. Now the U.S. Navy is considering a ban on the devices due to safety concerns.

The devices use the batteries to heat up the liquid used to transport nicotine, creating a vapor which the user inhales.

In a number of cases, the batteries have overheated, causing the e-cigarette to explode or catch fire. Those users have suffered burns to their face, hands and other body parts.

According to the Navy Times, the Naval Safety Center recently released a memo in which it said it believed the devices “pose a significant and unacceptable risk” to personnel, facilities and ships. The memo recommends a total ban of e-cigarettes on Navy property, including all bases and ships. It cited 12 known e-cigarette incidents, occurring between last October and May as a reason for the ban.

In the cited incidents, e-cigarette blasts caused first- and second-degree burns among sailors on eight occasions and fires aboard ships at least twice. Two additional sailors suffered facial and dental injuries when their e-cigarette exploded in their mouths.

It is becoming increasingly clear that there is something seriously unsafe about e-cigarettes. Until significant changes are made, the number of victims will probably continue to grow. The injured can pursue compensation from the manufacturers and other parties, with the help of an experienced product liability lawyer.

Our consumer product liability injury team is investigating cases of e-cigarette-caused injuries. Call the Walkup team if you or a family member or friend has suffered this type of injury.