E-cigarettes have become increasingly common. In Richard Campbell’s April 2016 NFPA report, Electronic Cigarette Explosions and Fires: The 2015 Experience, he referenced a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “12.6% of adults reported ever trying an e-cigarette in 2014.”
That’s a tremendous number of users for a product that did not exist 10 years ago.
While many have been concerned about health issues and the possibility that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to other tobacco usage, reports about fires, explosions and burns caused by the batteries in these devices have raised alarm in the safety and burn communities. At the time Campbell wrote his report, no government agency had regulatory authority over e-cigarettes, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had something in the works.
On August 8, 2016, the FDA’s new tobacco rule took effect. The FDA now regulates e-cigarettes and their components. Anyone who has a product safety concern with e-cigarettes or other products regulated by the FDA can file a report at the FDA Safety Reporting Portal.
E-cigarettes are one of many products that have had problems with lithium ion batteries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued numerous recalls of consumer electronics, including computers, cell phones and hover boards. NFPA recently published a tip sheet on lithium ion battery safety for consumers.
Safety issues with consumer products can be reported at the CPSC's saferproducts.gov. To report vehicle safety problems, go to safercar.gov. Both sites also provide information on recalls and complaints already filed.