Smokers Switching To E-cigarettes For Stoptober Receive Safety Warning

Product Liability Experts Share Their Safety Tips For Vaping After Batteries Cause Fires and Burns

29.09.2016

Saffron Otter, Press Officer | 0114 276 4666

Smokers switching to e-cigarettes in a bid to cut their smoking habit for Stoptober are being warned of the dangers of some lithium ion batteries which have caused severe burns and in some extreme cases, destroyed houses in fires.

Product liability experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell are raising awareness of the risks involved in e-cigarettes with their top safety tips for anyone wishing to swap to vaping for Stoptober. 

Currently around 2.8 million adults in Great Britain use electronics cigarettes, otherwise known as vapes, compared to 700,000 in 2012 – according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Stoptober is a Public Health England initiative to encourage a mass quitting and offers daily help and support for smokers; as research shows that if you stop for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stop for good. 

The rise in people using e-cigarettes can be attributed to them being used as an effective way to stop or reduce the amount they smoke, as the latest statistics from Smoking in England show an increase in the proportion of ex-smokers who started using e-cigarettes after they quit smoking.

Public Health England has also estimated that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking. But whilst the health benefits seem to be acknowledged, consumers should bear in mind that all e- cigarettes contain lithium ion batteries, which pose a risk of explosion if the device fails.

Matthew Newbould, product liability expert at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented several people who have suffered injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes, said:

Expert Opinion
“Regulation of e-cigarettes being sold in the UK is improving, but we still see first-hand the devastating effects an e-cigarette explosion can have.

“Common issues that we have seen first-hand include buying incompatible products online, using the wrong chargers and leaving them unattended which charging. The most common injuries are from e-cigarettes that have overheated in people’s pockets causing severe burns and often scarring the victim for life.”

“If you’re making the swap this Stoptober, it’s important to follow the recommended tips for a safe vape.”
Matthew Newbould, Solicitor

Irwin Mitchell’s Top Tips For Safer Vaping:

1) Check that the company you are buying from is reputable. If buying online, Trading Standards recommend looking for a professional website, with a landline contact number, details of a head office, and appropriate spelling and grammar 

2) Look for the CE mark on all parts of the product. All products imported into Europe are required to carry the CE mark as evidence of safety compliance. If the CE mark is missing, the product may be unsafe or a counterfeit

3) Check each time that there are no leaks or damage before using

4) Don’t use any other charger as a replacement without first taking advice from a reputable trader. Battery capacity and charging voltages vary between manufacturers 

5) Do not leave your e-cigarette charging unattended or whilst you’re asleep

6) If you think there’s a problem or if the device is overheating, stop using it and seek advice from a reputable trader as soon as possible

7) E-cigarettes use lithium ion batteries, which are high energy, volatile devices. Many vapers are not aware of the risk that carrying a battery loose in a pocket with keys and coins carries the risk of explosion, usually because the risk is not clearly stated by the manufacturer or the seller. Always keep spare batteries in a sealed case away from metal items
 
8) Turn off your e-cigarette when you’re not using it and when you’re carrying it

Irwin Mitchell represents hundreds of clients who have suffered injuries and damage to property as a result of defective products. In many cases, the damage caused has been life changing. The law firm’s #SafetySmart campaign raises awareness of inadequately designed or poorly manufactured products and aims to strengthen the laws to protect consumers in the UK.