Electronic cigarettes…better for your health? Well, that could depend on whether or not it blows up and catches fire.
The e-cigarette, a device that vaporizes a solution of water, nicotine and flavoring without the smoke and the combustion, is not currently regulated by the FDA. According to a professor of medicine and public health at Indiana University, while the devices go unregulated, Americans who purchase e-cigarettes do so at their own risk.
E-cigarettes, most of which resemble a tobacco-leaf cigarette, use a battery to heat liquid that contains nicotine into a vapor that the user can inhale. The FDA is currently regulating this whole industry as a tobacco product, so all of the component parts, including the battery and charger, are not tested for safety. In addition to inhaling a vapor of a drug administered by an electronic device, one that has not been tested for its safety, there is an increasing number of reports of the e-cigarette catching on fire, or exploding. Several reports of fires and injuries have been received, and lawsuits are being filed.
According to E-cigarette trade association figures, there are roughly 3.5 million of the devices in use. The sales have doubled every year since 2008 and are projected to reach $1.7 billion in 2013. Yet I don’t know a single person who actually smokes one of these.
The electronic cigarette industry is growing. Given the continued growth , and an unregulated product, the lawsuits may continue to grow at the same rate.