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E-cigarette batteries cause explosions, some of them fatal

Certain electronic cigarettes typically use what is called a 18650 lithium ion battery. Slightly larger than a AA battery, this lithium-ion battery has a stainless steel cover that can withstand the force of outdoor power equipment. Thus, it is meant more for power tools than for devices that users put in their mouths. Michigan residents should know that these batteries have led to hundreds of e-cigarette explosions.

According to a study from George Mason University, e-cigarette explosions result in more than 2,000 emergency department visits every year in the U.S. In most of these cases, users would incur leg, arm or hand burns. The majority are burned by e-cigarettes that are in their pants pockets.

There have been two fatal explosions -- a 38-year-old man killed in May 2018 and a 24-year-old man killed in January 2019. Both men were killed when the explosion caused a metal piece of the device to lodge into their body.

The e-cigarettes that use these batteries are called mechanical mods. These come with no internal safety circuitry. Furthermore, safety is compromised each time users take them out for recharging as the chargers are often cheaper off-brands made in China. Still, failure rates remain low.

Those who are injured by their e-cigarettes may want to consult an attorney who knows about vape pen product liability. In some cases, victims can obtain compensatory damages that cover medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. An attorney may help a plaintiff file their claim against the vape pen maker after proving that a manufacturing, design or marketing defect was to blame for the incident.

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