E-Cigarette Explosion Concerns Continue After Blast Linked To Truck Accident

Reports suggest that a truck accident last month in Indiana may have been caused by an exploding electronic cigarette, which caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle and resulted in severe facial injuries. 

Authorities say that Christian Starasinich was driving a tractor-trailer on I-65 North in Indiana on January 5, when his electronic cigarette reportedly exploded. The blast caused the truck to crash through a guardrail, but the only injuries suffered by Starasinich were to his face and hands from the exploding e-cig, Indiana State Troopers said. There were no other injuries nor vehicles struck.

The incident is the latest in a growing number of incidents involving e-cigarette explosions resulting in burns or other injuries, usually linked to the rechargeable lithium batteries that power the small electronic vaping devices.

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A recent report (PDF) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates that there were more than 25 e-cigarette explosions between 2009 to August 2014, but the number of reports since then appear to be increasing, as the popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed.

While a number of the explosions have been reported while users were actually smoking them or carrying the device, causing severe electronic cigarette burn injuries and disfiguration, the FEMA report indicates that most of the explosions occurred while the battery was being charged.

A 2014 investigative report revealed problems concerning e-cigarette devices linked to a variety of injuries, including burns, respiratory problems and nicotine toxicity. The investigation revealed more than 50 adverse event reports involving difficulty breathing, headache, cough, dizziness, sore throat, chest pain, swelling of the lips and more.

In July, E-cigarette devices became the target of a new FDA investigation, focusing on adverse reactions, reports of injury and other incidents related to e-cigarettes. The FDA plans to review the current rules governing e-cigarettes and address the risks the devices may pose.

Last year, the American Medical Association joined the debate concerning e-cigarettes and called for stricter regulations concerning the devices. Some lawmakers are calling to have the devices banned from airplanes.

A number of exploding e-cigarette lawsuits have been filed in recent months by individuals who suffered disfiguring injuries or property damage as a result of the devices bursting into flames.

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