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Oklahoma Man Sues After E-Cigarette Explodes in His Mouth

Jul 8, 2016

A man in Muskogee, Oklahoma is suing after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. The retailer who sold him the device is named as the defendant. According to the lawsuit, the retailer was negligent and failed to tell the 22-year-old plaintiff about potential explosions. Allegedly, the incident caused vision damage and permanent disfigurement.

As e-cigarettes become increasingly popular, reports of e-cigarette explosions have been on the rise. Many consumers purchase the device as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, or as a tool to quit smoking altogether. Some consumer advocates, however, are concerned about the lack of regulation and other risks the device may carry.

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented new regulations banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. The finalized rule also requires photo ID verification, prevents the sale of covered tobacco products in vending machines (except for adult-only facilities) and prohibits the distribution of free samples.

An estimated 196 e-cigarette explosions have occurred since August 2009, and appear to be increasing. Last month, a Tustin man suffered severe burns when an e-cigarette exploded during use. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most explosions occur as a result of overcharging the lithium-ion battery. In some instances, the battery overcharged through a computer USB port or car outlet.

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