E-cigarettes a risk to more than just oral health, study finds
CLEVELAND, U.S: The controversy over the safety of electronic cigarettes persists, and some people regard vaping as a public health epidemic. Experts have typically focused on the long-term detrimental health effects of vaping. However, vaping devices can also cause severe burns, and a growing body of evidence suggests that they are a fire hazard.
“We’ve seen cases of people keeping an electronic cigarette in their shirt pocket, and it hitting a coin, or their keys, causing a short circuit and causing a fire,” said Dr. Baruch Fertel, a physician in the Center for Emergency Medicine at Cleveland Clinic in the U.S.
In a recent study conducted at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., researchers identified over 2,000 reports of burn injuries caused by e-cigarettes over two years. Fertel believes that the risk of explosions or burns from e-cigarettes is highest when people try to make their own devices or use batteries that are not suitable for their e-cigarettes. “It’s important that they use the ones that the manufacturer creates specifically for this purpose and that have appropriate safety features.”
According to Fertel, lithium-ion batteries are prone to overheating. Purchasing them on the internet may mean that they have not been approved for powering an e-cigarette. Fertel also cautions users not to charge the vaping device for an extended period or overnight, as this can cause it to become dangerously hot. Finally, if an e-cigarette device becomes too wet or damaged, it is advisable to discard it.
The study, titled “Dermatologic manifestations associated with electronic cigarette use,” was published online on April 6, 2019, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, ahead of inclusion in an issue.
Editorial note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently published an article in which it offers advice on how to avoid e-cigarette battery explosions and explains other safety issues related to vaping.