Exploding E-Cig Warning Issued for Truck Drivers by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin

Federal regulators are warning truckers about the risk that battery-powered electronic cigarettes may catch fire or explode during transport, following a rash of such incidents nationwide over the last year. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a safety advisory (PDF) on August 3, giving warning and information to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles regarding the risk of e-cigarette explosions. However, there are currently no regulations governing motor vehicle transport of these devices.

“The use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices has resulted in incidents including explosions, serious personal injuries, and fires,” the FMCSA warning states. “The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.”

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

The FMCSA warning applies to e-cigarettes and e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems. The agency calls on truckers to be aware of the risks and use good judgment in possessing, storing, and charging the devices while around or operating a commercial motor vehicle. It also warns them to follow smoking prohibitions around hazardous materials.

The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products released a report in March in the journal Tobacco Control that identified at least 92 reports of electronic cigarette explosions between 2009 and September 2015. However this report is considered to be outdated and severely unrealistic of the number of injuries caused by the devices.

Other reports have placed the number of incidents much higher. A report in April by Ecigone.com indicated there had been nearly 160 exploding or combusting e-cig incidents reported through the media at that time, with many likely going unreported due to the user’s right to privacy or embarrassment to report.

Many people support e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes while others turn to the devices to help them quit smoking traditional cigarettes. However, a study published last year revealed e-cigarettes may be just as addictive as traditional cigarettes and release ten times the amount of some cancer-causing agents.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that nearly 15% of U.S. adults have tried the popular e-cigarettes at least once and estimate nearly 4 percent of the population are regular users.

In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) banned all forms of electronic smoking devices from checked baggage on aircrafts, and e-cigarette devices and batteries may not be charged aboard any aircraft. The rule was finalized by the agency following several recent reports of e-cigarettes catching on fire inside of checked luggage.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer
Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer "Representative" (Posted yesterday)

Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.