A number of incidents involving exploding e-cigarettes have been brought to the attention of Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards after users reported units catching fire and exploding.
The incidents have primarily been put down to battery faults during charging when the cylinders overheat and consequently catch fire, and in the worst cases, explode.
Councillors in the East Midlands have warned e-cigarette users to take care when using the units. Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, said: “E-cigarettes may be popular, but please don’t put your safety at risk.
The county council gave this advice:
• Only use the charger supplied with the e-cigarette
• Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully – battery capacities and charging voltages vary according to manufacturer so it is important to check you are using the correct charger
• Heed any warnings supplied with the product. Over-tightening of the screwed connection to the rechargeable battery can result in mechanical damage which can in turn create heat problems and possible failure
• Ensure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for longer than required
• Do not leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or unattended
• Look for the CE mark that indicates the charger complies with European Safety standards
• Do not store e-cigarettes or liquids within reach of children or pets
• Be aware, nicotine can be fatal if swallowed or in contact with the skin. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately
The problem has not only been found in Nottinghamshire. A man in Merseyside was killed last year whilst charging his e-cigarette and another reported his unit exploding like a grenade, nearly blowing his leg off. Also, CCTV footage has been captured showing a barmaid’s e-cigarette exploding whilst she served a customer.
However, in an investigation done by the BBC, on “Trust me, I’m a doctor”, Medical journalist Michael Mosley concluded that “considering cigarettes kill half the people who use them, if I was a smoker, I would certainly give e-cigarettes a go”