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Another Vaping Danger: Explosions Linked To E-Cigarettes On The Rise

July 20, 2019 - 10:23 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Is that a ticking time bomb you're putting in your mouth?

When experts look at whether e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, the focus is often on the chemicals in the devices or the nicotine they release. Now, a recent study shows e-cigarettes can actually be a fire hazard, too.

Researchers looked at the number of emergency department visits for cases of explosions and burn injuries from e-cigarettes and found that many involved people trying to make their own devices, using things they bought online.

"We've also seen cases of people keeping it in their shirt pocket, it hitting a coin or their keys and causing a short circuit and again, causing a fire," Dr. Baruch Fertel, from the Cleveland Clinic, told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites. 

Fertel says lithium ion batteries are prone to overheating and when people buy them on the internet, they may not be approved for an e-cigarette and can overheat or even explode. 

"It's important that people not try to go and construct their own device or use their own battery that's left over from a laptop or from a phone or something else,"he said. "It's important that they use the ones the manufacturer creates specifically for this purpose and that has appropriate safety features."

If an e-cigarette device becomes too wet or damaged, Fertel says the safest thing to do is to throw it away.