What are E-Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are rechargeable, battery-powered devices that emit doses of vaporized nicotine or non-nicotine solutions for users to inhale. Inside the device is a heating element that vaporizes the liquid solution, which typically consists of a mixture of propylene glycol, nicotine, vegetable glycerin and flavorings. E-cigarettes are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have been plagued by defects leading to fires in smartphones, hoverboards and other electronic devices. Too often, a battery failure occurs due to problems with the battery design, because the battery comes in contact with metal, or because the battery is overcharged or charged with an incompatible power adapter. Despite the fact that e-cigarettes have been available in the United States for more than a decade, little is known about the safety of e-cigarettes or their actual role in smoking cessation, if any. The devices have been aggressively marketed by manufacturers as a safer and healthier alternative to traditional cigarette smoking and have been promoted as a means of helping current smokers kick their habit of smoking traditional cigarettes. After all, e-cigarettes allow users to get their nicotine fix without the known health risks associated with smoking. However, faulty vape pens may cause users more harm than good when they fail to operate properly. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that between 2009 and 2014, at least 25 people were injured by spontaneously exploding e-cigarettes.